02 December 2022

Australian-first psychiatry training program to live, train and practice in regions

Friday, 2 December 2022
  • New program allows psychiatrists to undertake training in the regions
  • First-ever dedicated rural psychiatry training program in Australia
  • Designed to attract, train, and retain psychiatrists to regional WA
  • Part of the McGowan Government's focus on supporting regional health workforce  

Psychiatrists can now undertake their training in regional Western Australia, with the launch of an Australian-first program.


The Rural Psychiatry Training WA program - overseen by WA Country Health Service - provides a training pipeline to help attract and retain mental health professionals to the regions.


Accredited by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists - the program is the first-ever dedicated rural training zone in Australia or New Zealand which allows trainees to remain in regional WA from internship through to fellowship.


The program will help grow a sustainable rural mental health workforce that better meets the diverse and unique needs of rural communities.


The first cohort of trainees will begin in February 2023. Further trainees will deploy across regional WA in the mid-year intake.


Trainees are supported through accommodation and relocation subsidies. 


Peer support and mentoring, as well as comprehensive support pathways are available to help trainees and their families settle into regional WA.


Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:


"This is just one of the many ways we are working to bolster our rural mental health workforce as part of our ongoing efforts to attract healthcare workers to country WA.


"We know that doctors who train in rural areas are more likely to return to work in the country when they finish training.


"Improving the distribution of mental health workers gives regional communities access to timely and appropriate psychiatric care, regardless of their postcode."