What is FRACGP and How to Get Fellowship?

25 November 2021 | Australian GPs | 7 minutes read

What is FRACGP and How to Get Fellowship?

Are you searching for opportunities for general practitioners abroad, such as in Canada, Ireland or New Zealand? Or perhaps you’re an Australian general practitioner looking to build a long-term career as a GP. If so, then you could benefit from FRACGP.

But what does FRACGP stand for in medical terms? What is its significance, and why would you need it?

Here, we’ll define and go beyond the meaning of FRACGP. We’ll also discuss what it entails and how it can help set you up for a great general practitioner job in Australia or other countries.

FRACGP — An Overview

FRACGP stands for the Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. It is a specialist general practice qualification accredited by the Australian Medical Council.

When a general practitioner attains the FRACGP qualification, it indicates that they have been assessed and found to be competent to practise their specialty (general medicine) unsupervised. It also means they have obtained the highest level of training.

Not only does the FRACGP show how qualified a GP is, but it also comes with other benefits. For example, it allows GPs to claim specific types of Medicare rebates. It also allows doctors who have undergone it to use the letters FRACGP after their name and be duly recognised as a fellow not only in Australia but also in New Zealand, Ireland and Canada.

General practitioners who don’t have the FRACGP (or FACRRM — Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine for GPs who wish to take the rural medicine career pathway) as a qualification won’t be able to bill Medicare for rebates.

Additionally, patients who go to vocationally recognised GPs could get higher rebates for their consult. This financial advantage would encourage them to prefer GPs with a FRACGP (or FACRRM) qualification.

The RACGP and FRACGP

In Australia, the professional body for general practitioners is the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). It is the organisation responsible for developing and maintaining education, training, clinical practice quality and research standards in general practice. It also advocates for GPs concerning issues that affect the practice of general medicine.

The RACGP is known to have the largest membership of any medical college in the country. Since it is the representative body for GPs, membership in the RACGP is required for all GPs who want to obtain a fellowship.

Doctors can become eligible to apply for fellowship with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners by passing the FRACGP exam. Doctors seeking FRACGP are called ‘registrars’.

While undergoing the training program, registrars are under the constant guidance of a GP supervisor. The registrar’s nominated lead supervisor would be recognised by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) as a specialist GP, as a minimum.

FRACGP Exams and Qualification

To qualify for the Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioner, registrars would need to complete a three-part written and clinical examination.

Moreover, they should have met all of the training program prerequisites. FRACGP completion usually takes three years, with up to one year Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) available. In simple terms, an RPL refers to an exemption from the first year of the program. Registrars need to apply for this early on to be able to qualify for it.

There are different pathways available to achieve FRACGP qualification, such as the vocational training pathway, the specialist pathway, and the practice-based assessment pathway for general practitioners who are working actively in their field.

The FRACGP examination comes in three segments:

  • Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)
  • Key Feature Problems (KFP)
  • Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE)

RACGP-approved facilities conduct both the AKT and KFP in an online exam format. The AKT comprises 150 multiple-choice questions. The KFP involves case scenarios with extended responses. Meanwhile, the OSCE is a performance-based test. Candidates taking the OSCE are observed and evaluated while trying to address different clinical scenarios they are presented with.

Exam results for the FRACGP are sent to candidates by email on a certain scheduled results release date. Candidates can also log into the RACGP website on or after the scheduled results release date to get their results.

Lists of successful exam candidates are also published on the RACGP website. Candidates who successfully complete all exam segments can move on to the next step — applying for admission to the Fellowship of RACGP.

What Do All Those Other Letters After a Doctor’s Name Mean?

Doctors who have completed the FRACGP successfully can put MBBS FRACGP after their name. 

  • MBBS: This stands for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, which is a doctor’s qualification as a Doctor of Medicine.
  • FRACGP: A Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has successfully completed specialty training as a GP under the RACGP.

Other medical doctor-related terms you might encounter include:

  • FACRRM: Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. FACRRM study is focused on healthcare and medical practice in rural and remote areas of Australia.
  • FRCP: Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. This is a requirement in Australia and New Zealand for a doctor to be recognised as a specialist or consultant physician in general (internal) medicine or some other relevant subspecialty.
  • MBBS (Hons.): Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Honours) indicates a doctor who has attained specific high marks in an MBBS subject.
  • MBChB: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery/Chirurgery. The MBChB degree is usually awarded in the UK, South Africa and NZ and is equivalent to the MBBS degree.
  • ACCSCMS: Advanced Clinical Certificate in Skin Cancer Medicine and Surgery. This specialty course is for general practitioners who plan to focus on practising skin cancer medicine.
  • MRCGP: Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners. This indicates a GP is a member of the UK counterpart of the RACGP.
  • DFSRH: Diplomate of Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. This qualification means the doctor specialises in sexual and reproductive healthcare.
  • DRANZCOG: Diploma of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The DRANZCOG training is intended for general practitioners or residents who want to gain skills in obstetrics and gynaecology so they can safely perform basic gynaecological procedures and non-complex deliveries.
  • RANZCOG: Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The RANZCOG is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to establish and uphold high standards of practice in women’s health, obstetrics and gynaecology.
  • DCH: Diploma of Child Health. This post-graduate qualification enables medical professionals to demonstrate their child health experience.

Opportunities for FRACGP Doctors at Alecto

Being a FRACGP doctor could have a significant impact on your career as a general practitioner, as it indicates your level of expertise and signifies your GP specialisation.

As a doctor with a FRACGP, you can practise your profession independently. And since a FRACGP is a prestigious and widely recognised qualification, it opens you to plenty of great opportunities, such as GP jobs available on Alecto.

At Alecto, we offer career advice and undertake GP recruitment for recently qualified GP registrars who have undergone the RACGP-FRACGP exams and are waiting for their exam results.

Alecto vacancies include locum GP jobs, GP work opportunities in group practices, family practices owned by individual doctors and GP openings in larger, corporate medical centres across Australia.

download whitepaper

A guide to GP Salaries in Australia

Leave your details to download the guide.