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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My GP Story: Dr Marcus Hayward

Western NSW, 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. Why did you decide to become a GP? Diversity! Diversity of patients, diversity of medical issues and the opportunity to develop multiple interests. Also, the flexibility of...

Dr Rachel Turner

Hunter, Manning & Central Coast, North Eastern NSW

I have always been tempted to get involved in research and never quite knew how. When I heard about the academic registrar position I thought it sounded like a great opportunity to get experience in research alongside my GP training.

Dr James Marshall

New England/Northwest, North Eastern NSW

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, North Eastern NSW

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, North Eastern NSW

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, 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, North Eastern NSW

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, 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, North Eastern NSW

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, Western NSW

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

Central, Eastern & South Western Sydney, Lower Eastern NSW

Working towards preventing burn out in junior doctors.

Dr Kelly Bradley

Western NSW, 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, 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, North Eastern NSW

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, 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

Lower Eastern NSW, 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, North Eastern NSW

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, 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, Western NSW

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, 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, North Eastern NSW

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, Western NSW

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, 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, 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, North Eastern NSW

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, North Eastern NSW

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, 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 Anna Windsor

Western NSW, 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

Lower Eastern NSW, 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...

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, North Eastern NSW

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, North Eastern NSW

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, Western NSW

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

Lower Eastern NSW, 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, 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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