Dr Saima Arshad moved to New England/Northwest for her GP training. Recently Fellowed, she has settled in the town of Narrabri where she and her family intend to stay for at least the next few years.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Originally, I am from Pakistan. I’ve worked in different states of Australia and the last hospital I worked in was John Hunter Hospital as my family was settled in Newcastle.
Why did you decide to become a GP?
I became a GP to maintain a balance between my family and my profession. General practice was the best profession for me as I have a daughter who I felt got neglected a lot because of me working at the hospital. I am very proud of my decision now as general practice is a rewarding profession. I get to see the positive difference that I can make in other peoples’ lives.
Why did you decided to complete your GP training in New England/Northwest, and Narrabri specifically?
In my initial choice I opted for areas around Newcastle as I can only apply through rural pathway, but instead I was given New England/Northwest option only. I had no choice but to leave my family and come to this region which did not really serve the purpose where I left the hospital for in the fist place.
What have you enjoyed about being a GP in Narrabri?
Although I was far from my family, I enjoyed my cooperative supervisor and supportive workplace, without them it would have been very difficult to survive the Covid-19 phase alone. The community here is extremely nice and looks after you.
Are your post-training plans to be a GP in Narrabri (New England/Northwest)?
My family moved to Narrabri as my husband’s company offered him a position here in Narrabri. So now I am planning to stay here in Narrabri for at least next 3-4 years as I have been seeing patients for the past 2 years and I have enjoyed looking after them.
There are a lot of learning opportunities in rural communities as we GPs are the first to see people whether in hospital or the surgeries. I am looking forward to furnishing my skills further to suit the needs of rural communities.
What is the best thing about living in Narrabri?
It is a nice small town. The community is incredibly grateful to any doctor that comes here. It’s a sporty town and has sports going on throughout the year.
There are a wealth of GP training opportunities in New England/Northwest, to learn more head to New England/Northwest.