Clinical supervision in rural Australia: challenges and opportunities

Priya Martin, Tarun Sen Gupta and John M Douyere
Med J Aust 2018; 209 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja18.00525
Published online: 5 November 2018

There is an urgent need to build clinical supervision capacity to support the rural medical workforce

Many of the pieces of the rural workforce puzzle are in place. There is good evidence around selecting the right people, teaching them the right things in the right places and ensuring the quality of rural placements. Positive outcomes from such approaches are well documented.1 Governments have invested in infrastructure and education, developing many training pathways.2 The missing piece, which needs urgent attention, is clinical supervision and training capacity. The rapid growth in trainee numbers has not been accompanied by growth in supervisory capacity. Failure to address the reduced supervision capacity will risk the success of this investment, with adverse outcomes for trainees, communities and the future workforce. The recent statement from the Australian Medical Association, Building capacity for clinical supervision in the medical workforce 2017, calls for “increased investment in supervision capacity and supporting infrastructure”.1

  • 1 Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, Toowoomba, QLD
  • 2 James Cook University, Townsville, QLD
  • 3 Queensland Rural Medical Service, Toowoomba, QLD
  • 4 Longreach Hospital, Longreach, QLD
  • 5 Central West Hospital and Health Service, Longreach, QLD


We thank Deanne Bond (Manager, QRGP) for providing feedback on the drafts.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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