A massive program of clinical training, research outcomes, policy debate, career advice and award presentations will be on offer at the 2019 Rural Medicine Australia (RMA19) conference.

RMA is the largest gathering of rural doctors in Australia and is the premiere rural medicine event, jointly hosted by The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).

With more than 800 delegates expected to attend, which this year will be held at The Star on the Gold Coast, RMA19 is the must-attend event in the rural medical calendar.

ACRRM President, Dr Ewen McPhee, said that this year’s line-up would be the best yet and he was excited about the variety of streams included in the program.

“We have really gone all out this year to ensure there is a stream for everyone, with broad ranging themes, suitable from students right through to experienced doctors,” Dr McPhee said.

“Our key themes this year will be: Cultural health; Women in health; Family and Community Health; Rural Future;Rural First Responders And Our Rural Doctors.

“We will also have a dedicated Student Stream, which will have a range of clinical training sessions as well as career advice and assistance in navigating the variety of paths you can take and careers on offer in rural medicine.

“This year will also see us holding a Rural Registrar Stream, which will offer tools and training for academic success, clinical skills development and career advice, as well as sessions on making the psychological leap from a trainee doctor working under supervision, to a fully qualified practitioner able to work independently with confidence,” Dr McPhee said.

“We are really looking forward to delivering the most comprehensive and well-rounded rural medicine program that’s ever been on offer.”

Dr Adam Coltzau, RDAA President, said that in addition to all of these great streams, there will be opportunities to engage with rural health leaders and have direct input into the future strategies of key organisations.

“We will again be holding a Presidents’ Breakfast at RMA, which will be an interactive session with AMA President Dr Tony Bartone, Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) President Cathy Baynie, and Rural Doctors Association of Queensland (RDAQ) President Clare Walker, alongside Dr McPhee and I, who will be debating the current issues affecting the rural health sector.

“The Presidents’ Breakfast will be facilitated by Dr Norman Swan, who not only can guide the debate, but who also offers his own great insights into this space.

“We are also very excited to announce that Dr Swan will be the MC of the entire conference and we are sure his contribution will be significant over the course of the event.

“We have already locked in keynote speakers and are extremely pleased to have former Australian of the Year and iconic media personality, Ita Butrose AC OBE, as well as National Rural Health Commissioner, Emeritus Professor Paul Worley and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Digital Agency, Tim Kelsey. More keynotes will be announced as the conference approaches,” Dr Coltzau said.

“On the final night we will hold our annual Gala dinner, where we will present our annual awards. This is always a highlight of the program and we all enjoy seeing our colleagues recognised for their dedication and hard work.

“There will also be a range of rural-specific pre and post conference workshops, including Advanced Life Support, Rural Emergency Skills Training, Ultrasound, Anaesthetic Crisis Management,  and Pre-Hospital and Retrieval Medicine.. All fields of care in high demand in rural areas and which can really make it worthwhile for many doctors to take the time from their practice to come to RMA.

“We look forward to seeing many hundreds of our friends and colleagues at the event, and we are thrilled that we are able to offer such a comprehensive, quality program for all our delegates,” Dr Coltzau said