Dr Martiane Bersano is currently completing her extended skills in women’s health and hopes to build a practice focusing on her interest in that area. She was awarded the 2018 GP Synergy Registrar of the Year for Central, Eastern & South Western Sydney for outstanding achievement as a GP registrar.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I grew up in Brazil and moved to Australia 12 years ago. At that time, I had finished my first degree in economics and a masters degree in finance. But I always wanted to be a doctor.
When I moved here I decided that I was going to focus on pursuing that dream and really dedicated myself to it for the last 12 years, first learning English then studying for the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT), and then at the University of Wollongong, where I got my medical degree.
Why did you decide to become a GP?
I find general practice to be a fascinating career. You get to learn so much about so many medical problems, you end up with a large knowledge about a lot of things.
In general practice you get to treat your patients as a whole instead of focusing on a specific issue. In my case, the fact that there are few Portuguese/Spanish speaking GPs in Australia was also a factor. I wanted to be able to offer this service to these communities.
What do you enjoy about general practice?
I think general practice gives you the opportunity to build a life-long relationship with your patients and to be their support through everything. Last year I had patients who went through major pregnancy losses and this year ended up having wonderful babies, and I continue to see them and their babies, it is so rewarding. That is the side of this job I appreciate the most.
You’re completing Extended Skills in Women’s Health, what does it involve?
Women’s health is my absolute passion. I get to see women through their whole adult lives, before they become mothers, during their pregnancy and afterwards with their babies. When you develop an interest then you end up attracting a lot of those patients. Women’s health and prenatal care is currently mostly what I do, and it happened naturally. I have patients that come from everywhere in Sydney to see me and I feel very lucky for that.
Is it important having a GP supervisor during training?
It is almost impossible to do this job safely without a good supervisor. I’ve had amazing supervisors since my first placement. They always treated me as a peer and they taught me everything I know about general practice. My supervisors have all been very inspiring and I will always look up to them. I would absolutely not be here without them.
How has your GP training helped you to become a confident GP?
I felt very supported from day one. I had very high-quality teaching throughout my training and always had help every time I’ve reached out. When you migrate from another country you spend a long time questioning yourself if you are good enough.
When I received GP Synergy’s Registrar of the Year Award for Central, Eastern & South Western Sydney in 2018 I felt validated by people that I really look up to. It gave me a lot of confidence to keep going.
Where do you hope general practice will take you into the future?
In the future I hope to specialise even further in women’s health and to build a practice focused on that.