You might have noticed that some GPs have the letters “FRACGP” or “FACRRM” at the end of their name, and some don’t. In this post we explain what the letters “FRACGP” and “FACRRM” stand for, and what this means for you, as a patient if your GP has “FRACGP” or “FACRRM” at the end of their name.
Doctors often have a stack of letters after their name. Do more letters mean a better doctor? What’s the difference between them?
What does FRACGP or FACRRM stand for?
The letters “FRACGP” stand for “Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners” and means that your GP has done extra training in the specialist field that is modern day general practice.
A similar qualification to the “FRACGP” is the “FACRRM”, which is essentially the rural medicine-equivalent of FRACGP. “FACRRM” stands for “Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine”. The FACRRM is essentially interchangeable with FRACGP.
Those who have undertaken the extra study and who have become a fellow of the RACGP or the ACRRM are sometimes called “vocationally-registered (VR) GPs”, and are entitled to put the letters “FRACGP” or “FACRRM” at the end of their name.
If a GP doesn’t have FRACGP or FACRRM at the end of their name, then they are not a specialist GP. That’s right – not all GPs are specialist GPs!
Why you should care whether your GP is a FRACGP or a FACRRM
Non-vocationally registered GPs (ie. who do not have FRACGP/FACRRM at the end of their name) cannot bill Medicare for rebates that are otherwise available to a specialist GP. This means that, as a patient of a non-VR GP, the rebate for your consult will be lower, and you may be more out of pocket compared to when you see a GP who is a FRACGP/FACRRM.
The FRACGP/FACRRM qualification signifies that a GP has been assessed as competent across the core skills of general practice enabling him or her to practice safely, unsupervised, anywhere in Australia.
The next time you make an appointment with your GP, have a look to see if they have FRACGP or FACRRM after their name!
At Albert Road General Practice all our doctors are qualified with FRACGP. We believe that General Practice is a speciality area of medicine and that holding a specialist qualification as a GP is an important element in ensuring that our patients receive safe, specialised, high-quality general practice care.
What are some other common letters at the end of a GP’s name?
For interest’s sake, some of the other common letters you may see after a GP’s name include:
MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery) – This is the standard medical degree name in Australia. Confusingly, it doesn’t mean the doctor is a qualified surgeon!
MBBS (Hons.) – This means that the doctor undertook an honours research project or thesis during their time at university, or got high grades throughout their course and graduated with honours (it depends on the university).
ACCSCMS (Advanced Clinical Certificate in Skin Cancer Medicine and Surgery) – This means that the doctor has additional training in advanced areas of skin medicine for the management and treatment of skin cancers in a GP/primary care setting.
DRANZCOG (Diploma of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) – This means that the doctor is a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist who has completed four years of core training and a further two of advanced training with the RANZCOG.
DCH (Diploma of Child Health) – This means that the GP has upskilled in paediatrics by undertaking the Sydney Child Health Program at the Westmead Children’s Hospital (formerly the Westmead Diploma in Child Health). While they are not a specialist paediatrician, these letters mean that the doctor has undertaken further study in the area of paediatrics.