Tell us a little bit about your background.
I grew up in Cootamundra, about an hour from Wagga Wagga where I live now. First year out of high school, I moved to Sydney and went straight into undergraduate medicine at UNSW. I lived in Sydney for the first three years of the degree and then I did the second three years of the degree at the Wagga Wagga Rural Clinical School and I’ve been in Wagga ever since. I did my internship and residency at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital.
I then moved to Calvary Private Hospital and spent five years there with the intention of going into general practice. I wanted to get more depth and breadth of hospital experience before going out into community practice.
Why did you choose general practice?
I’ve always liked the idea of being a family doctor. I always knew that general practice was where I would end up and, and I intend to remain in general practice for the rest of my career.
I like the thought of treating a patient, treating their parents, treating their children, developing relationships within the community. I also like continuity of seeing patients on an ongoing basis. You get to learn about the patient themselves and not just the medical diagnostics.
All in all, general practice allows you to deliver a better standard of healthcare and to be able to treat the patient as a person. I think that’s really satisfying.
I like the scope of general practice that you get to do such variety of work. I’ve got a lot of interests in a lot of different areas of medicine, so that works out really well for me as well. Not just specializing in one area, but I get to do different work every day, and I find that very stimulating intellectually.
How have you found the start of GP training?
It’s been excellent. It’s been a big change from what I was used to in the hospital, but a lot of the skills and knowledge translate across. The practice that I’m working in is wonderful, and the patients that I’m seeing are wonderful as well. I’m starting to build those therapeutic relationships and, and community relations, it’s been excellent.
I’m enjoying the type of work that I’m doing and I’m seeing a lot of very interesting medicine, I’m really enjoying the whole experience.
Where do you want general practice to take you into the future?
I’m really happy being your typical family GP, who does a little bit of everything. I don’t have a strong inclination towards one particular field over another I like the general nature of general practice and the variety. I see myself being a rural GP for life.
What do you enjoy most about living in Wagga Wagga?
Wagga Wagga itself. It’s sporting culture, in the last 12 months I’ve taken up triathlon, which has been really good and there’s quite a good triathlon scene in Wagga. I like the cafes and the restaurants and all the different sporting and entertainment events that come to town. There are a lot of cultural events and markets, which are really nice to go along to.
As far as the medical community goes, Wagga has a really strong medical community that offers a diverse range of services and really strong health care delivery. From a professional point of view it’s been a good place to settle as well.
Do you have any tips for potential GP registrar’s moving from the city for rural GP training?
The best thing that you could do if you were moving from the city out to Wagga would be to get involved in local groups, whether it be sporting groups or social groups or clubs, whatever it is that you’re interested in, Wagga probably has something for you, a group that you can join or a community that gets together.