Dr Cecilia Lee - GP Synergy

Dr Cecilia Lee

Central, Eastern & South Western Sydney

  • Applied for the 2023 AGPT program?

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I was born in Hong Kong, immigrated to New Zealand with my family when I was 12, then came to Sydney for my first undergraduate degree in actuarial studies. My husband and I met at Macquarie University, and we decided to settle in Sydney where he’s born and bred.

I previously worked in the superannuation industry as a graduate as well as the not-for-profit sector as a finance journalist. With a lot of family support, I began my medical degree at the University of Notre Dame Sydney when our first child was 2 months old.

I completed my internship and residency at St George/Sutherland/Calvary hospitals before commencing training in general practice in 2020.

Why did you decide to become a GP?

I love the continuity of care, the contribution to health literacy, the practice of preventative health and the variety of patients seen in general practice. General practice is one of few specialties where doctors can routinely provide bio-psycho-social care.

An anaesthetist once told me that, “No matter which speciality you choose, make sure you become a good doctor.” I believe general practice can help me become a good doctor. With the flexibility of training, I have opportunities to better understand myself, at the same time nurture and grow with my family. This, in turn, allows me to empathise with and focus on my patients more readily.

What attracted you to undertake an academic component to your training?

I think it was more a question of “Why not?”. As I am nearing the end of my training, I feel undertaking an academic post will broaden my understanding of general practice.

What is your research project about?

My research project is a mixed-methods study aiming to better understand the characteristics and impact of consulting in languages other than English on registrars during general practice training.

What was your motivation for the project?

I have personally experienced consultations conducted in a language other than English both as a GP registrar, and as the carer of a patient (my mother); therefore, I appreciate the complexities such a consult can bring. It is also of clinical relevance because more than one-fifth of Australians speak a language other than English at home. I hope to fill the gap in the current literature by exploring GP registrars’ experiences in this domain.

Is your research project part of a larger research project or stand-alone research?

This is a research project which includes quantitative analysis conducted using existing ReCEnT (Registrar Clinical Encounters in Training) data and a qualitative interview study to explain and explore the quantitative findings.

What do you see as the benefits, both to yourself, and generally, of undertaking an academic component in your GP training?

I will be able to see first-hand how research informs evidence-based clinical practice. The research and teaching opportunities it provides will help me with my ongoing career planning.


To learn more about undertaking an academic post visit our Academic research page.

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