Doctors training to specialise as rural GPs have met in Dubbo this week to participate in a general practice education workshop run by local training provider GP Synergy.
The 43 doctors who are in their first or second term are just some of the 148 GP registrars training with GP Synergy in hospitals and local general practices across Western NSW.
Amongst the new GP registrars is Dr Sally Plunkett – whose passion for rural medicine and marrying a third-generation farmer means being a rural GP is her dream job.
“My parents are pharmacists in Port Macquarie and I had thought of following in the family footsteps, but after studying in Orange, I went into medicine knowing I wanted to be a rural GP.
“It’s the variety of medicine you practise as a GP and being part of the community, that really appeals,” Dr Plunkett said.
At the workshop the new GP registrars will cover topics from emergencies in general practice to common paediatrics and women’s health.
“Rural GP registrars need a diverse set of skills and knowledge,” said GP Synergy Director of Education and Training Dr Vanessa Moran.
“To support their journey to becoming a fellowed GP we deliver a regionalised training program that encompasses both local and national population health needs, 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.
Dr Plunkett is looking forward to starting her first GP placement at Gulgong Medical Centre.
“I did my final year of medicine as a medical student here in Dubbo at the School of Rural Health and completed my internship and residency at Dubbo Base Hospital, I’ve also undertaken placements in the Northern Territory, Tiwi Islands and Wilcannia.
“I’m looking forward to living on the farm, near Mendooran. My ambition is to practice in Dunedoo as there’s a gap there, in terms of availability of GPs,” Dr Plunkett said.
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