Drawn to providing primary health care and continuity of care in a community of need, Dr Emily Hedditch chose to train in Western NSW, she has found the training support and work-life balance have further confirmed she has made the right career choice.
Tell us a little bit about your background
I grew up in Canberra and completed a Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of Canberra before being accepted into medicine at the University of Notre Dame Sydney.
I was lucky enough to have fantastic exposure to rural medicine while at university and this fuelled my desire to work in a rural community.
Why have you chosen general practice?
I have always been passionate about primary health care and continuity of care.
I initially decided to take up medicine because I really admired my GP growing up. Through medical school I realised that I loved many different areas of medicine, so I quickly realised that general practice was a great fit for me because it allows me to combine my love of continuity of care whilst providing health care to patients in a broad yet challenging environment.
I am most looking forward to broadening my knowledge base. I have learned so much in my time as a hospital medical officer, but I am excited to strengthen this clinical knowledge and build on it throughout the next few years of my training.
I know there will be large gaps in my knowledge and a large proportion of primary health care which cannot be taught in hospital. While this is an incredibly daunting process it also excites me that I have so much to learn, trusting the process to make me the best GP I can possibly be, particularly with the guidance and support of great mentors and educators.
Why have you chosen to train in Western NSW?
Growing up I spent a lot of time in areas around Western NSW. I have family in Molong and Orange and have always known about the struggles some of my family members have had when needing to access healthcare in the past. This drove me to pursue a career as a rural GP – I really wanted to be able to provide a service to a community of need.
Western NSW also has great local services, industry and everything that a young family could need so it seemed like the perfect choice for my husband and I to settle down.
How are things going in your first GP term?
I am very happy with how things are going. There are always going to be challenges and nerves particularly when starting a new job. I have found that the practice I am working in is extremely supportive. I am very lucky that I feel I can ask a question at any time and am always given time to discuss difficult cases/situations without any judgement.
I particularly love that I have started to build relationships with patients and have a few regular patients coming to see me. It is very rewarding and a big part of why I chose general practice.
I believe that I have made an excellent career choice for myself even in this short period of time. I am finding I have time to investigate the medical concerns of my patients and providing sound care whilst doing this. I am also finding that I have a fantastic work-life balance and have been able to engage further in the community, in particular taking up old hobbies which I have not been able to do while working an on-call hospital roster over the last few years.
I am thoroughly enjoying my time in general practice and cannot wait to see what the not so distant and distant future holds for me in general practice!
If you’re wondering about training in Western NSW, check out our Go West Guide.