Life as a GP

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A challenging and interesting speciality

GPs are expert diagnosticians responsible for differentiating and prioritising an array of otherwise undifferentiated problems that are brought in by the patients. There is a wide diversity, not only in the type of conditions that GPs see, but also in the stages at which they present. GPs derive tremendous satisfaction from the long-term trusting relationships that they form with their patients. General practice also offers enormous scope to specialise and tailor your interests. Hear from real GPs about their experience as a GP.

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Dr Colin Gunter

Nepean, Western & Northern Sydney

Dr Colin Gunter is a GP supervisor based in Carlingford. He generously shares his knowledge with GP Synergy registrars as a presenter at the annual Fusion workshop.

Dr Mary Elsley

New England/Northwest

Despite growing up in Newcastle and studying in Sydney, Dr Mary Elsley had her sights set on training to become a rural procedural GP in New England/Northwest. Having completed Advanced Skills Training in paediatrics she has started her community-based GP training in Inverell.

Dr Simon Holliday

Hunter, Manning & Central Coast

Dr Simon Holliday is a GP and GP supervisor in Taree. After a tilt at politics in a State election defined by politicians posturing on tougher drug policies, he joined business and politics and developed a special interest in addiction medicine. He regularly shares his knowledge with GP registrars at educational workshops.

Dr Lalana Kapuwatte

Western NSW

During GP training Dr Lalana Kapuwatte has met many patients with mental illness, mostly young adults. This experience inspired her to undertake procedural training in mental health, she is now looking forward to using those skills in the community.

Dr Daniel Rudd

Western NSW

Originally from Canberra, Dr Daniel Rudd has moved to Western NSW for GP training, he is loving it there and intends to stay for the long term. As the Registrar Liaison Officer for Western NSW, he also wants to ensure other registrars have a positive experience when they train in the subregion.

Dr Matthew Chan

New England/Northwest

Having grown up, studied and worked in Sydney, Dr Matthew Chan found himself in New England/Northwest for his GP training, now he’s in no hurry to get back to the city. He shares his experience of moving to the country town of Gunnedah, a place he hadn’t visited before he started GP training.

Dr Uri Harrington and Dr David Harwood

Western NSW

Procedural GP registrar Dr Uri Harrington, and his supervisor Dr David Harwood, had very different journeys to becoming rural GPs. Both now enjoy living and working in the Western NSW town of Parkes – Uri as a GP Anaesthetist and David as a GP Anaesthetist and Obstetrician.

Dr Jacinta Spry and Dr Anne Murray

North Coast

Dr Anne Murray and Dr Jacinta Spry are both passionate about general practice and training doctors in their home town of Port Macquarie.

Dr Caroline Ivey

Western NSW

Life as a GP in Western NSW may not have been what Dr Caroline Ivey had envisaged in her future, but she loves living near Wellington and working as a GP in an Aboriginal community controlled health service where she is completing her Extended Skills term in Aboriginal Health.

Dr Sally Johnson

Murrumbidgee & ACT

Dr Sally Johnson grew up on a property outside of Walgett and is passionate about ensuring rural communities have opportunities for high quality health care.

Dr Kathleen Wild

Hunter, Manning & Central Coast

Surveying GP attitudes towards environmental sustainability in general practices and barriers perceived towards improvement.

Dr Ashwin Kaniah

Hunter, Manning & Central Coast

A special interest in geriatric medicine and dementia has led to research in deprescribing of potentially inappropriate  medications in patients over 65 years.

Dr Millie Holbeck

Murrumbidgee & ACT

Dr Millie Holbeck has made the move from Sydney to Wagga Wagga for her GP training after falling in love with the area and realising it was the perfect place to enjoy being part of a community and become the type of GP she always wanted to be.

Dr Jessica Chapman

New England/Northwest

After living and working in Sydney, Dr Jessica Chapman moved to Tamworth and completed her extended skills placement in palliative care. Her interest in regional and rural medicine, and being part of the community, has made general practice a logical choice and Tamworth the place she now calls home.

Dr Sally Street

Western NSW

City born and raised, a love of country music and lifestyle was the impetus for Dr Sally Street and her husband to retrain for life in a rural community. She is in her third term of GP training, loving life and working as a GP obstetrician in Western NSW.

Dr Ty Clayworth

Hunter, Manning & Central Coast

Inspired by his local GP, Dr Ty Clayworth is currently undertaking GP training in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service where he is enjoying the feeling of community that it offers.

Dr Marcus Hayward

Western NSW

Dr Marcus Hayward, who is in his second term of GP training in Bathurst, grew up in Sydney but has longer term plans to settle in Western NSW.

Dr Rachel Turner

Hunter, Manning & Central Coast

An interest in the field of reproductive health led to investigating the prescribing behaviour of contraceptive options by GP registrars.

Dr James Marshall

New England/Northwest

After working as a physiotherapist in the UK, Dr James Marshall retrained with the aim of becoming a rural GP, he is now a GP registrar in rural NSW. Tell us a bit about yourself? I grew up on a farm near Black Mountain just north of Armidale, so not far from where I’m now…

Dr Paul Lam

North Coast

Training as a rural generalist Dr Paul Lam chose to develop additional skills in palliative care because of the difference he can make in alleviating the suffering of people with terminal illnesses.

Dr Lisa Simpson

New England/Northwest

The lure of working as a GP in a rural community, combined with using her anaesthetics training in a rural hospital, has made Moree a good choice for Dr Lisa Simpson.

Dr Chris Diehm

Western NSW

Training with the Royal Flying Doctor Service Dr Chris Diehm is enjoying the variety of medicine he sees in rural and remote general practice as well as utilising his procedural skills in aeromedical retrievals.

Dr Hasan Sarwar

New England/Northwest

All GPs like to see their patients smile, for GP registrar Dr Hasan Sarwar it’s a mission that regularly takes him to Bangladesh as part of a voluntary Australian medical team he co-founded with a colleague.

Dr Nicole Smith

Western NSW

Dr Nicole Smith, grew up in Sydney but moved to Dubbo to do a year of training at the School of Rural Health, enjoying the lifestyle so much she has returned for GP training.

Dr Lauren-Marie Vernon

New England/Northwest

Dr Lauren-Marie Vernon has moved to New England/Northwest for her first term of GP training – Moree is providing the perfect balance of hospital and practice work for an aspiring GP Anaesthetist.

Dr Trudi Beck & Dr Lee Jeffery

Murrumbidgee & ACT

I was very lucky to have very inspiring GP supervisors as a registrar, and I would like to try to help our registrars see the joy and the challenges of general practice in a supportive environment.

Dr Rebekah Hoffman

Understanding junior doctors under stress and why they get burnt out, and what are the protective factors that can prevent burn out.

Dr Kelly Bradley

Western NSW

Being based in Bathurst has meant GP registrar Dr Kelly Bradley has made great local connections. Her time is divided between her young family, playing hockey, training as a GP as well as working at the local hospital as a GP Obstetrician.

Dr Deborah Peterson

Western NSW

Dr Deborah Peterson is training as a GP at the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service where she has found her passion is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Dr Phyo Kyaw & Dr Paul Saad

New England/Northwest

Dr Phyo Kyaw received the highest AKT score amongst GP Synergy registrars this term. His supervisor Dr Paul Saad is passionate about rural health care and training registrars in Quirindi.

Dr Paul Lunney

Western NSW

After enjoying two terms of GP training in Dubbo, Dr Paul Lunney is looking forward to the opportunity to broaden his skills as a rural GP registrar by spending a term in nearby Gilgandra.

Dr Paul Barnett & Dr Gudrun Muller-Grotjan

South Eastern

Dr Paul Barnett is training on the Far South Coast of NSW and relishes being able to go for a surf before and after work, his supervisor Dr Gudrun (Gundi) Muller-Grotjan has lived all over the world but has fallen in love with the small town of Narooma.

Dr Camilla King

New England/Northwest

Dr Camilla King has moved from Tamworth to Inverell (200 km north) to take up a training post in Aboriginal health – having experienced city life her goal is to be a rural GP.

Dr Nina Dowling

Western NSW

With a passion for rural health and preventative medicine, starting GP training in Western NSW has been the perfect fit for Dr Nina Dowling.

Dr Thomas Armour

Murrumbidgee & ACT

Although training in Wagga Wagga wasn’t part of his original plans, Dr Thomas Armour is now glad that he did, and is looking forward to continuing his training in the Murrumbidgee & ACT subregion.

Dr Kerrie Stewart

Western NSW

Dr Kerrie Stewart was the 2017 Western NSW Registrar of the Year, recently receiving her fellowship, she is practising in Parkes and working with GP Synergy as a medical educator.

Dr Suha Tazami

New England/Northwest

Dr Suha Tazami undertook her GP training in New England/Northwest, having previously worked with outreach programs in the Palestinian West Bank and Jordan Valley, she is now excited to be working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Dr Katherine Smith

Murrumbidgee & ACT

Wagga Wagga local, Dr Katherine Smith, has been training and working in the regional city since her final year of medical school. Deciding to stay in the Murrumbidgee & ACT subregion for GP training was an easy decision.

Training in Aboriginal Health

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to train and work in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS)? We asked six GPs currently training and working in an ACCHS in New England/Northwest about their experience.

Dr Sally Plunkett

Western NSW

Dr Sally Plunkett is currently training in GP community term at Gulgong, a  small town just over an hour’s drive from the large regional centre of Dubbo.

What’s GP training like in Western NSW?

Western NSW

Hear from three rural GPs on what it’s like to live and train in Western NSW.

What’s GP training like in New England/Northwest?

New England/Northwest

Are you wondering about GP training in the New England/Northwest subregion? Three registrars undertaking their training in the subregion told us what they think.

Dr Maelle Morgan

New England/Northwest

Originally from the Gold Coast, Dr Maelle Morgan has been undertaking her GP training in Moree within the New England/Northwest training subregion, it’s been such a good experience she can’t imagine moving back to the city. 

Dr Hugh Le Lievre

Western NSW

Dr Hugh Le Lievre is undertaking his GP training in Orange, the five-minute commute to work and the incredible local food and wine are just some of the benefits of living in Western NSW. Dr Le Lievre is also a GP Synergy Registrar Liaison Officer.

Dr Erica Watson

Western NSW

As the first registrar in NSW to train in a post accredited to offer advanced specialised training in child and adolescent health, Dr Erica Watson is looking forward to being a procedural GP and reducing some of the burden that rural families with unwell children often face in having to travel to seek treatment. Why…

Dr Anna Windsor

Western NSW

As an elite swimmer, Dr Anna Windsor competed at two Summer Olympics and three world championships. After retiring from competitive swimming her next challenge was studying medicine and becoming a GP. Dr Windsor is now GP Synergy’s Regional Head of Education Western NSW.

Dr Domonic Manassa and Dr Andrew Egan

South Eastern

Dr Domonic Manassa made the move from the big smoke to train as a GP in Cooma just over a year ago; he likes it so much he and his wife have recently bought a house and intend to stay. One of his supervisors, Dr Andrew Egan, is a longstanding procedural GP who has been supervising GP registrars for more than 28 years.

Dr Jessica Nathan

Working as a GP registrar in a health co-op combines two passions for Dr Jessica Nathan – affordable health care and being a GP.

Dr David Lockart

New England/Northwest

Tamworth-based GP and GP Synergy medical educator, Dr David Lockart enjoys the contrast that being a medical educator gives to clinical practice, and he has some great advice for doctors thinking about GP training. 

Dr Hamze Hamze

New England/Northwest

Dr Hamze Hamze arrived in Moree in 2013 as a GP registrar, four years on he’s passionate about living in Moree and working at Pius X Aboriginal Corporation, where he is also a GP supervisor.

Dr Rachael Fikkers

Murrumbidgee & ACT

After obtaining a rural cadetship, Wollongong born Dr Rachael Fikkers chose to do her internship and residency years in Wagga Wagga Base Hospital. The experience she gained in rural medicine and the rural lifestyle have been why she has also undertaken her GP training in Wagga Wagga and decided to stay.

Dr Toby Jackson

South Eastern

The diversity of experience gained from working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health put Dr Toby Jackson in good stead for last year’s Royal Australian College of General Practitioners fellowship exam – he was the highest scoring candidate in NSW and the ACT in 2016.

Dr Edward Lee

Western NSW

Meet rural GP registrar Dr Edward Lee. Encouraged by his rural GP supervisor, he decided to upskill in obstetrics to meet the local community need. He found this terrifying at first, but it’s now the favourite part of his job.

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