Transferring from Sydney to Armidale to complete his GP training, Dr Hugh Pearson has no intention of returning to the big smoke. His training experience combined with the benefits of living in a rural area have reinforced his intention to work as a GP in Armidale.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I grew up in southern Sydney, I didn’t have any interest in medicine until I started my undergraduate degree in exercise science with the intention of being a physiotherapist but became convinced I could have a bigger impact as a doctor. I’m married to Gabby and have two children: Noah (3) and Isla (1).
Why did you decide to become a GP?
I always wanted to be a GP, I’m curious about people, I find them fascinating, and I love the dynamics of a consult. General practice suits my personality, my skills and my desire for variety.
Why did you decided to transfer to New England/Northwest to complete your GP training?
We knew we wanted to get out of Sydney, it was just a matter of where. We looked at several towns and felt like Armidale would suit us. It has a great climate, a great mix of people, good amount of ‘culture’ and most importantly for my wife and I, good churches where we knew we would find community which would help us feel settled.
What have you enjoyed about being a GP in Armidale?
I enjoy that being a GP in a smaller place means I get to see a great diversity in practice (tradies, farmers, staff of the university, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, our local refugee population) compared to a smaller homogenised pocket in Sydney. The variety of people and presentations keeps it interesting. I’m also a six minute bike ride to work and the patients and everyone I work with are very friendly.
Are your post-training plans to be a GP in Armidale?
We aren’t planning on moving anywhere. We have bought a house in town and my practice are happy to keep me on once I fellow. I don’t know if there is anything specifically about rural general practice I am looking forward to, I am just keen to get to know my patients and their stories better.
What is the best thing about living in Armidale?
By having a mortgage that is half to a third of the price of Sydney whilst earning the same or more means my family and I can have a work-life balance which would not have been possible in Sydney. It’s not about the money per se, it is just that by not having a big mortgage it enables us to slow down and focus on what matters to us most.
Explore the training options available in New England/Northwest.