The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) is accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) for setting professional medical standards for training, assessment, certification and continuing professional development in the specialty of general practice. 

We are the only College in Australia dedicated to rural and remote medicine, and we play an important role in supporting junior doctors and medical students considering a career in rural medicine.

We are committed to delivering sustainable, high-quality health services to rural and remote communities by providing:

  • Quality education programs
  • Innovative support, and
  • Strong representation for doctors who serve those communities.

Meet ACRRM President Dr Sarah Chalmers

The College - advocacy

Advocacy

We proudly support and represent members in the recognition of rural generalism.

The College - International

International Presence

International recognition for the College, its Fellowship and rural generalism continues to grow.

The College - ACRRM RAP

Reconciliation Action Plan

The college has a vision for reconciliation and to work in partnership with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members, peoples and organisations.

The College - Awards

Awards & Prizes

ACRRM is proud to offer awards and prizes to its members to encourage their growth in rural medicine.

Backgrounds-09

History of ACRRM

ACRRM was established in 1996 and incorporated in 1997 by doctors from across rural and remote Australia.

Backgrounds-06

College Definition of General Practice

The General Practitioner is the doctor with core responsibility for providing comprehensive and continuing medical care to individuals, families and the broader community.

In 2005, the College applied through the newly-established Australian Medical Council (AMC) process, for recognition of Rural and Remote Medicine as a medical specialty. The-then Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing, Hon Tony Abbott MP, determined that the application would not be accepted and that the College was to be supported to prepare its programs for accreditation within the specialty of general practice. The Commonwealth Government provided financial assistance to the College to further develop its programs to meet AMC accreditation standards.

In 2007, following a comprehensive assessment process, the College was awarded provisional AMC accreditation as a medical college within the discipline of general practice and recognised in Medicare legislation.

In 2011, after further extensive assessment, the College was awarded full AMC accreditation and in 2012 gained membership of the Australian Council of Presidents Medical Colleges.

ACRRM became the first Australian medical college to be fully assessed and accredited under the newly-established and substantively more rigorous AMC accreditation framework. It was also the first to be accredited as one of two colleges setting practice and education standards within the same specialty.

Since that time, the College has maintained its full AMC accreditation status.

In 1987, the Rural Doctors Association of New South Wales was formed.  Its national counterpart, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) was incorporated in 1991. In that year, RDAA was instrumental in convening the first National Rural Health Conference (NRHC) the recommendations from which, led to establishment of the original Rural Health Training Units, the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA), and to Government support for a dedicated rural medical training program.

In 1992 the RDAA procured a Government grant to develop a rural medical training pathway to incorporate advanced curricula in the specialist fields of anaesthesia, surgery and obstetrics.

Following negotiations to secure a 'Faculty of Rural Medicine' and a 'Fellowship of the Faculty of Rural Medicine' within the RACGP, RDAA in a plebiscite, agreed to hand over its advanced skills curricula to the RACGP to form the basis for a discrete rural training pathway incorporating these skills.

A series of decisions by the RACGP Council however overturned this approach and resulted in the disillusionment and resignation of many rural RACGP members, eventually including eight of the ten RACGP Rural Faculty board members. In particular, the title, 'Faculty of Rural Medicine' was rejected in favour of 'Rural Faculty' and the proposed dedicated Rural Fellowship training pathway was replaced with a 'Graduate Diploma of Rural General Practice', a 12-month "add-on" qualification on top of the generic RACGP Fellowship.

In 1995 a second national plebiscite of rural medical practitioners voted by a ratio of 2:1 to establish a separate college to foster Rural and Remote Medicine as a distinct model of medical practice. The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) was incorporated in March 1997.

The ACRRM Primary Curriculum in Rural and Remote Medicine (Edition 1) was published in 1998. Fellowship criteria were advertised to foundation members in 1998 and, in the same year, ACRRM's rural training pathways and the commencement of a continuing development program in Rural and Remote Medicine were established.

See More - Do More - Be More with ACRRM Fellowship

Choosing an ACRRM Fellowship puts you on the path to becoming a Rural Generalist. ACRRM supports you on that journey with a rural and remote-centric curriculum, training you in the specialised skills and knowledge to competently and confidently deliver human-centred health care. From day one you can deepen your knowledge in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, anaesthetics, emergency medicine, mental health, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, surgery, palliative care and more.

Pre fellowship - registrar
Pre fellowship - registrar

Join the ACRRM family with College Membership

ACRRM membership connects you with a network of professional, adventurous and visionary Rural Generalists committed to their careers and the health of the communities they serve.