Dr Trudi Beck is undertaking her GP training in Wagga Wagga, Dr Lee Jeffery is her supervisor. Both came to Wagga Wagga during their training and have decided to stay.
Dr Beck: I grew up on a farm and was a rural entry student to the University of NSW. I took the chance to come to Wagga Wagga in my third year of medical school and I met a fellow med student here and now we are married with two children!
We loved our time in Wagga Wagga, and so after moving away for further training we decided we couldn’t think of anywhere better to continue our careers and raise our kids.
We have an excellent network of colleagues, friends and ‘pseudo’ family so I can’t see us moving anytime soon!
I was very lucky to have very inspiring GP supervisors as a registrar, and I would like to try to help our registrars see the joy and the challenges of general practice in a supportive environment.
The education and extracurricular opportunities for our children in a city of this size are excellent and we have these benefits without traffic and long commutes or high housing prices. And I can combine my loves of GP and obstetrics in a functional way.
Dr Jeffery: I received a Rural Doctors Network rural cadetship for my final two years of university, that involved working in a rural/regional area for two out of my first three postgraduate years. I’d grown up in Canberra, and I’d spent a bit of time in Wagga Wagga previously, so thought I’d come to Wagga Wagga and see if I really did want to become the rural GP I’d imagined. That was in 1997!
At the risk of sounding corny, GP registrars are the ‘lifeblood’ of future rural general practice. If we want to attract young doctors to rural general practice and meet the needs of rural communities, we need to give them the opportunity to see rural general practice as it is really practiced, by rural GPs who are passionate about their work and the communities they live in.