Dr Millie Holbeck has made the move from Sydney to Wagga Wagga for her GP training after falling in love with the area and realising it was the perfect place to enjoy being part of a community and become the type of GP she always wanted to be.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m from Campbelltown originally. I was born in Campbelltown Hospital. I went to primary school, high school and university there and then did my internship there. This is my first time moving from Campbelltown, but it’s always been the plan.
When I grew up in Campbelltown it was very different, I grew up on three acres, my grandparents lived across the road and they had five acres, there were no street lights, and we knew everybody in the street. Campbelltown’s not that way anymore, it’s a big city and you don’t know your neighbours and it doesn’t have that sense of community.
When I started studying medicine I knew I wanted to be a GP and I knew I wanted to go somewhere smaller where I could be part of the community and I could make more of a difference. One more GP in the big city doesn’t do much but one more GP somewhere where there aren’t too many can make more of a difference.
When did you realise that you wanted to be a GP?
I like people. Medicine is science and people, and I think the people part is the best part and keeps it interesting. I think I was always interested in GP because you get that great relationship, you get to be part of someone’s family, and see kids born and see people at the best and the worst.
I had an interest in palliative care and paediatrics along the way, but I realised the things I liked about them were the things I liked about GP. Family focused, patient focused, you get to be involved in people’s lives.
What made you pick Murrumbidgee & ACT for GP training?
My heart was set on this region almost from the start. My sister came to university here, about two years before I graduated. I just loved the region because it has some of those urban comforts I’m used to, but it still has that community feel. People care about each other, you don’t have that in other places.
I like that you’ve got a huge variety, you’ve got farmers coming in from out of town, you’ve got city folk, really a great diversity in the population which is really exciting. I liked Wagga but my husband was still a bit unsure, so we went on a little road trip and checked out a whole bunch of towns that were big enough for an engineer and he fell in love with Wagga too.
Do you think you might end up staying in the region?
Yes, we bought a house! And my parents have moved to Wagga as well. They moved about two years ago, so the whole family is here, and we’ve all fallen in love with the place.
Have you enjoyed GP training so far?
I love it, I think in the hospital you can get so busy with paperwork and the production line of hospital medicine, but GP is exactly how I hoped it would be. I get to talk to my patients and be part of their lives and know and care what’s going on. It’s so nice, you might see one patient come in today and then their brother come in the next day. You treat the whole family and get to know everybody, you get to be that quintessential family GP.
Check out the town profiles of Wagga Wagga and other towns in our Murrumbidgee & ACT training subregion.