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Last updated: 24 October 2009

Women In Rural Practice

WIRP Committee

The WIRP Committee was constituted as a foundation committee of ACRRM. It recognises that appropriate representation by female doctors is integral to all ACRRM activity and that the issues and concerns of female doctors should be appropriately actioned. Its principal goals are:

  1. To encourage women doctors to work in rural areas
  2. To encourage the development of patterns of practice in rural medicine that support and celebrate women medical practitioners
  3. To enhance the skill of rural practitioners in meeting the health needs of rural women.

  Download ACRRM female rural doctors foundation policy

The aim of the WIRP is to help redress the under supply of rural medical practitioners, and in particular women rural medical practitioners, by an increase in understanding of the values and experiences that attract women doctors to rural practice.

This understanding will underpin policy recommendations that arise in the normal course of ACRRM work, as well as training and accreditation procedures developed by ACRRM.

The WIRP is now positioned as one of the influential groups within Rural and Remote Medicine. It has the potential for greater concerted action through support of national policy, programs and research and by auspicing specific smaller scale activity. The opportunity to develop a more structured and longer-term agenda is now available.

Get Involved

The WIRP Committee has a strategic agenda for action and invites female members to join in, or comment on the group’s activity. They welcome your comments by email or fax on any issue that you wish the WIRP group to address in terms of:

• Recognition of female roles in rural medicine
• Greater recognition for your form of practice
• Resources and support including mentors
• Issues with workload, professional, family and community commitments.

WIRP committee contact:
Director - Women In Rural Practice on 1800 223 226.


WIRP Leadership Workshop

In 2004, ACRRM conducted an important workshop titled Women in Rural Practice (WIRP) Leadership Workshop for Rural and Remote Women Medical Practitioners as part of the College's 3rd Scientific Forum. The aim of the workshop was to enhance and improve knowledge, confidence and skills of female rural medical practitioners in the areas of leadership, and the event was supported by the Australian Government Office for the Status of Women.

The WIRP Leadership Workshop was very successful and did achieve all its objectives.  The response from rural and remote medical practitioners to the ACRRM WIRP Leadership project was very enthusiastic. A report into the aims and objectives of the event is attached below, as is a summary of the outcomes from the event.

  Women in Leadership Workshop Evaluation

  Women in Leadership Workshop - WIRP Outcomes

  WIRP Workbook


Support for Rural and Remote Women Doctors Project

ACRRM in partnership with the Australian Federation of Medical Women (AFMW) undertook a multi-tiered project to develop a range of resources to provide assistance and support to rural and remote women doctors. The particular focuses of this project were the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) preferences and learning styles of this group of doctors, and the factors and issues associated with their ability and opportunities to access CPD. This project was funded by the Australian Government Office for Women.

  Download Women CPD flyer

CPD Preferences and Learning Styles of Rural and Remote Female Doctors research report

This research report identified the CPD preferences and learning styles of rural and remote female doctors as well as the factors that impacted on the ability of female doctors to participate in CPD activity. The factors impacting on the ability of education providers to develop and deliver CPD activity, both in general and specifically to female doctors, was also examined. These results were contrasted against each other to provide some key areas for consideration in the provision of CPD for female doctors.

  Download CPD Preferences and Learning Styles

Guidelines For Developing CPD and Mentoring For Rural And Remote Women Doctors

As an extension of the research report these key areas were summarised and developed into a set of guidelines for use by education providers to inform about the development and delivery of CPD for rural and remote women doctors.

Building upon work from a previous project, a set of mentoring guidelines for women doctors were produced to assist individuals and / or organisations wanting to implement a mentoring program.

  Download Guidelines - Developing CPD and Mentoring

Other Research projects undertaken by ACRRM can be found in the Research section of the web site.


Female Locum Provider

Would you like a female locum?

In order to facilitate access to female locums, a list of private and rural workforce organisations that provide locum services has been provided below detailing their areas of coverage, the number of female locums they have access to along with their contact and website details. The list is arranged by the state with organisations entered alphabetically. In many instances, these organisations provide interstate coverage – so don’t limit your search to those agencies within your state of residence.
Please note that this is simply a list to facilitate the access of rural and remote female doctors to female locums and is in no way constitutes an endorsement or guarantees that a suitable female locum can be located.

  Female Locum Provider