Dr Mary Elsley

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New England/Northwest

After completing her Advanced Rural Skills Training in child and adolescent health, Mary has moved to Inverell to undertake her community-based GP training. Becoming part of a local community was something she was keen to do.

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 also have family connections to the area – as a child I used to go to Manilla every year to visit my great-grandmother. My great aunt and uncle still live there, and I have relatives in Quirindi and Cassilis. Some of my granddad’s family were also from around Uralla. Can you tell I did the family tree a few years back?

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. Amanda Bentel and Cheryl McIntyre at Inverell Medical Centre were lovely on the phone and Inverell really ticked all my boxes both professionally and personally.

In a weird series of events, my sister also got offered a job in Inverell as a radiographer on the same day I got offered my position, and we hadn’t even discussed applying there at all! Now I have bought a house, and my sister and I have moved to Inverell and we are throwing ourselves into the community.

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 do you hope/intend to use your rural generalist skills into the future?

Fortunately, paediatrics is an area that is central to general practice, so my skills will always be applicable. More specifically, I want to provide more advanced neonatal skills in smaller areas that still have maternity units (run by GP obstetricians). Anywhere GP obstetricians work it would be beneficial to have a GP paediatrician, for support in the neonatal period and then to help care for those children as they grow.


Check out the town profile of Inverell and other towns in our New England/Northwest training subregion.