Dr Mary Elsley - GP Synergy

Dr Mary Elsley

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New England/Northwest

Why did you decide to become a GP?

I decided to pursue GP training as I knew I wanted to work rurally, and I found that I enjoyed pretty much all areas of medicine during my junior doctor years. Additionally, I didn’t want to have to return to a city for training (including years of on-calls and night shifts) so GP was the best fit for me.

What attracted you to undertake your GP training in the New England/Northwest and Inverell in particular?

I very much want to live and work rurally, I’m happy to stay inland where the need for medical professionals is so much greater. It was really a no-brainer to preference New England/Northwest as my training subregion.

I completed my internship and residency years at Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital (as part of my return of service for my RDN RMO Cadetship). Tamworth is a fantastic town and I really love the surrounding area.

I’ve ended up in Inverell slightly through random chance to be honest – I wanted to be somewhere large enough for good training opportunities with a district hospital and maternity service. Inverell really ticked all my boxes both professionally and personally. After two terms at Inverell Medical Centre I’m now training at Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation.

What made you interested in undertaking child and adolescent health rural generalist training?

I always said if I was going to do GP training that I would do GP obstetrics, but then when it came time to apply paediatrics had just become an option for Advanced Skills Training. I loved both paediatrics and obstetrics during my medical school and junior doctor years, but I felt more prepared to become a paediatric registrar than an obstetric registrar and I was excited to extend those skills.

How are you using your procedural skills in paediatrics in your community-based training?

Paediatrics is an area that is central to general practice, so I use my skills daily when looking after child and adolescent patients. Whether it’s routine immunisations, rashes, unwell child, behavioural concerns or non-specific abdominal pain.

I have found paediatrics an incredibly useful skill to have and a great way to feel confident when starting in general practice. Also, I’m more confident contacting paediatricians directly for advice when required.

Have you been using your procedural skills in a hospital setting?

I worked at Inverell District Hospital during 2019, but as I’m training in Aboriginal health this term I’m not working at the hospital.

While working at the hospital I was present at planned and emergency LSCSs, performing neonatal resuscitation as necessary, I was on call for neonatal emergencies when a locum obstetrician was on call (normally the local GP/obstetrician looks after neonatal issues as well as the mother in Inverell), and overnight admissions for children as inpatients requiring admission but not unwell enough to go to a bigger site (there is off-site support from paediatricians in Armidale when needed) including adolescent mental health observation, mild-moderate bronchiolitis with parental concern and post allergic reaction observation.


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