Dr Evie Tonkin is looking forward to beginning her training as a GP at the Morgan Street Health Care Clinic in Wagga Wagga this week.
Despite the extra years of study, it’s the diversity of medicine and ongoing care of patients that working in general practice offers that have been the driving factors in becoming a GP for Dr Tonkin.
“There are so many interesting areas in medicine, I didn’t want to specialise in just one area at the expense of others,” she said.
Dr Tonkin and 56 other doctors from across Murrumbidgee and ACT, who are beginning their training to specialise as rural GP, are meeting in Canberra this week.
The general practice education workshop is run by local training provider GP Synergy. A
t the workshop the new GP registrars will cover topics from common paediatrics to chronic disease and good communication skills.
“Rural GP registrars need a diverse set of skills and knowledge,” said GP Synergy Director of Education and Training Dr Vanessa Moran.
“To support the registrars to become fellowed GPs we deliver regionalised training based on both local and national population health needs, that is delivered by local medical education teams,” Dr Moran said.
GP Synergy is funded by the Australian Government through the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program to deliver vocational GP training to doctors seeking to specialise as general practitioners.
Training to be a GP generally takes three to four years in a combination of hospital and general practice settings.
Working as a medical receptionist for a GP in Tamworth and participating in the John Flynn Placement Program during medical school allowed Dr Tonkin to work with two inspiring rural GPs.
“They were amazing – they weren’t just good doctors but a great support to their patients and their families.
“General practice is a hard job because there is so much to know. I want to learn as much as possible during training so I can be a good GP.
“My husband and I moved to Wagga Wagga in early 2016, when he got a job here and there was a position available for me at the hospital.
“We’re both from country NSW, so we’re keen to stay in country NSW,” Dr Tonkin said.
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