Deliberately seeking out out an Aboriginal health training post, Dr Nada Abu Alrub has found the broad scope of practice and the emphasis on holistic medicine rewarding. She’s also very happy to be part of the local community.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Before my GP training in New England/Northwest, I worked as a SRMO at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, from 2014-2018.
I’ve also worked overseas in humanitarian medical missions for refugees, and people affected by war, I try to volunteer on a yearly basis, and last year I worked in Jordan with Palestinian and Syrian refugees.
I am both medically and surgically inclined and I enjoy the fact that in rural settings we have a much wider scope of practice, which is much more fulfilling, and I believe there is much more to learn.
Why did you decide to train in an Aboriginal community controlled health service?
I think everyone should have equal access to all health services. But we are facing a health care gap in rural and remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, and refugee health. We should work together to reach the best outcomes and help close this gap.
I deliberately sought out an Aboriginal health training post at Pius X Aboriginal Medical Service in Moree. Aboriginal health has its challenges, with a wide range and complexity of cases, but it’s both challenging and rewarding.
What do you enjoy about training in Aboriginal health?
In general working here is both different and enjoyable because it’s a community-owned health service. You’re not just the doctor at the clinic, you’re part of the community.
It’s great to work alongside Aboriginal health workers and nurses, there are a lot of services here on site and we do outreach community programs in Moree, Toomelah and Mungindi.
Working closely with the Aboriginal community at the AMS has been an incredible, inspirational, and heart-warming experience. People are smart and once they know that you understand and care, then you gain their trust and that is a big gift and a big responsibility too. I feel blessed to be part of the community.
Would you recommend working in an Aboriginal community controlled health service?
I encourage all doctors to experience working in a rural setting, and in Aboriginal health, you provide holistic medicine to each patient, their family, and the wider community.
As rural medical practitioners, you are required to provide a wider scope of practice compared to cities and while managing different types of medicine. You do more, you learn more, and there is no doubt that you become a better independent doctor!
How have you found working/living in Moree?
Being a city (and mainly a coastal) person it was a bit difficult for me at the start moving from Sydney. However, I found myself happy here mainly because of how nice country people are, the sense of community, working and socialising together as one big family is priceless.
I also enjoy being closer to nature here with clear beautiful skies, and stars, kangaroos and emus all around and picnics at the riverbank. I can still go for road trips to the sea every couple of weeks or when I get a chance.