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Dr Ty Clayworth

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Hunter, Manning & Central Coast

Why did you decide to become a GP?

I always wanted to be a GP. When I set my sights on medicine, I think what I really set my sights on was general practice.

I come from the small town of Wauchope, on the North Coast of NSW about half an hour inland from Port Macquarie, and our family GP was amazing. He looked after my mum when she was pregnant with me and he looked after me right up until the point that I moved away. I would still see him when I was home from university. He was a huge inspiration.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I am a Biripi man. I studied at UNSW and did a fair chunk of my training at their rural clinical school in Port Macquarie which was awesome.

What are you enjoying about GP training?

I like the connections that you form with patients and their families. I like seeing people when they are well and when they are sick.

I also like the flexibility and work life balance.

What attracted you to undertake part of your GP training in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS)?

As an Aboriginal doctor, I felt a huge pull towards working in ACCHSs. It’s hard to describe, but I just felt that it was part of my role, or my responsibility I guess you could say, to actually get involved in community.

What are your longer-term plans (after completion of training)?

I have recently become a dad, so a lot of my goals are centred around family.

We are very stoked with Newcastle as a place to live. My partner has been extremely supportive throughout all of my training so I think I would like to return the favour so that she can focus on her career for a while too.

As an Aboriginal doctor, do you have any recommendations for other Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander doctors thinking about GP training?

To be honest, I would just say do whatever you want to do. Getting through university is massive. As my partner puts it, if your training was a video game, getting to the registrar level and taking fellowship exams for any college is essentially the final boss. I think it is just really important to remember what you have been able to achieve so far.

We are all guilty of putting so much pressure on ourselves. My recommendation, honestly, is to just do what you want to do.