The Female Doctors Group (FDG) connects rural female medical practitioners, registrars and medical students to share wisdom, discuss issues of concern and lend support.
Key priorities for FDG are to promote models of sustainable rural medical practice and provide professional support for female doctors.
Membership of the FDG is free and not limited to RDAA members, although RDAA membership is encouraged.
The FDG meets regularly by teleconference. These teleconferences are held at times which fit in with professional and family commitments and are usually limited to 1 hour. Guest presenters are sometimes invited to discuss issues of interest. The FDG also holds a face-to-face meeting once a year if possible.
FDG members also contribute to RDAA’s policy development processes by providing comment on current and emerging issues, and reform proposals.
The FDG contributes to debates on rural health policy and takes on specific projects
Debates on rural health policy
FDG members regularly engage with politicians to discuss issues affecting rural and remote communities. This includes inviting politicians to participate in teleconferences, and holding face- to-face meetings with politicians in Canberra.
This engagement often results in very interesting and productive discussions about training future rural doctors, mental health services in rural areas, access to rural health services for people with a disability, models for delivering services to small towns, rural health infrastructure and incentives for doctors to work in rural areas.
The FDG has been involved in a number of projects, including a Women in Rural Practice program and a Working Safe in Rural and Remote Australia project.
The FDG partnered with the Rural Health Education Foundation in the production of a Women in Rural Practice broadcast and DVD.
The program featured several FDG members and promotes rural general practice and highlights the achievements of women in rural general practice.
In 2011, the Australian Department of Health and Ageing provided funding for a project that arose from the efforts of the FDG to promote a broader discussion about the workplace violence experienced by key professionals working in rural and remote areas.
This three stage project – Working Safe in Rural and Remote Australia – is a collaborative venture seeking to enable a whole-of-community response to working safely in rural and remote Australia.
An online portal for working safely in rural and remote areas has been developed under Stage 1. Funding is being sought for Stage 2 and 3.
How do I join?
New members are welcome. Contact Linda Huf: T: 02 6239 7730 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.rdaa.com.au