Believing that GPs play an important role in Closing the Gap, Dr Yliana Dennett sought out an Aboriginal health post, then finding endless learning opportunities she stayed on for a second term.
Why did you decide to train in an Aboriginal community controlled health service? –
I was coming to the end of my first GP term and I needed to apply for a new placement. I visited the Aboriginal Medical Service in Moree and found the practice to be well set up and the level of GP support and teaching was outstanding. I also spoke to the GP registrars working there and the feedback was really positive so I applied for a position and I got accepted.
What do you enjoy about training in Aboriginal health?
Working in Aboriginal health offers a great first-hand experience. We often see a variety of clinical presentations that we would not often see in large cities or metropolitan areas. Also I consult Indigenous patients, I get to learn about them, listen to their stories, their culture and customs.
Why do you think training in Aboriginal health is important?
The 10–12-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians remains a cause of great concern. Thus, it’s important to improve the quality of Aboriginal health services and GPs play an important role.
Although medical schools in Australia teach students about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, for many GPs their first substantial experience in this area occurs during vocational training. Cultural awareness and theoretical knowledge is good but nothing beats first-hand experience like working in an Aboriginal practice, seeing Indigenous patients on a daily basis and working alongside Indigenous healthcare workers.
Would you recommend working in an Aboriginal community controlled health service to other registrars?
Absolutely, everyone at the Aboriginal health services across the New England/Northwest region have been very warm and welcoming. The team at the AMS practice in Moree is very supportive and the teaching is fantastic. The learning opportunities are endless. I have enjoyed my term at an Aboriginal health service so much and I have decided to stay for another term to enhance further my training in Aboriginal health.
How have you found working/living in Moree?
Moree is small but a very nice town. The local people are very nice and welcoming and I often bump into people I know in town. There is a good range of amenities, nice cafes, shops and bistros. It also has twice daily direct flights to Sydney if you want to get away for the weekend.
Would you recommend working in Moree to other registrars?
I think every GP registrar in Australia should have some rural experience as well as some experience in Aboriginal health and Moree is a perfect place to work and train.