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Medical Health Aged Care

Fellowship ceremony welcomes new GPs in Mackay region

Royal Australian College of GPs 3 mins read

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) is celebrating new fellows at a ceremony today in Mackay, marking their entry into the profession as GP specialists.

Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP) reflects a doctor’s qualification and expertise as a specialist GP, following around 11 years of education, training, rigorous assessment, and experience in primary care.

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson, Executive Director of Queensland Office of Rural and Remote Health Elisha McGuinness, several senior members of the James Cook University general practice training team, and representatives from the from the North Queensland Primary Health Network attended the ceremony alongside RACGP leaders and new fellows’ friends and families.

Mackay GP and RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins led the ceremony and welcomed the newly fellowed GPs and emphasised the importance of having a GP to manage and maintain a community’s health.

“The evidence shows that having a regular GP is better than any wonder drug,” she said.

“For our new fellows, this is the culmination of 11 years of study and experience, in medical school, in the hospital system and learning, studying, and working with patients in general practice. Earning your fellowship means you’re ready to help your patients tackle any problem, from a broken bone or a period of mental health challenges, to a long-term illness or a condition your GP will help to manage with a team of other specialists and health professionals.

“With today’s ceremony, 20 new specialist GPs join the profession, and I’m especially proud two of my registrars are among them.

“These new GPs are ready to support their communities to thrive, so it’s important our governments and regulators support them to succeed as well. GPs have a depth and breadth of scope that that varies depending on where they live and the needs of their community. We keep our patients healthy and out of hospital, so it’s important that our state and federal governments support our GPs with appropriate funding and support them to work efficiently by ensuring they spend their time delivering quality care, not wrestling with overregulation or arcane hospital processes.”

Four out of five rural GPs are RACGP members, and the RACGP is the only specialist medical college in Australia that offers its Queensland members the opportunity to attend a standalone fellowship ceremony in a regional location, rather than having to travel to Brisbane.

RACGP Queensland Chair Dr Cathryn Hester joined Dr Higgins in welcoming the new fellows.

“It’s truly fantastic and heartening to be able to welcome 20 new GPs who have trained across North Queensland,” she said.

“The award of Fellowship of the RACGP is an outstanding achievement in anyone’s terms – the result of years of constant effort, long hours of study, and many years of clinical practice and patient contact have allowed our new fellows to attain this great honour.

“The admission to the specialty of general practice is a highlight of any medical career and recognition from a GP’s peers and college of their excellence in general practice. It shows confidence these new GPs are ready to serve their communities in the broad discipline of general practice independently. Congratulations to our new GPs, and to the experienced GP supervisors whose mentorship and teaching prepared them to be her today.”

Also in attendance were RACGP Queensland Deputy Chair Dr Aileen Traves, RACGP Rural Council representative Dr Konrad Kangru, RACGP Queensland Censor Dr Nick Hummel, other members of the RACGP Queensland Faculty Council.


RACGP spokespeople are available for interviews: 03 8699 0992 /

About us:

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is the peak representative organisation for general practice, the backbone of Australia’s health system. We set the standards for general practice, facilitate lifelong learning for GPs, connect the general practice community, and advocate for better health and wellbeing for all Australians.

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Contact details:

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Contact: 03 8699

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