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What’s GP training like in Western NSW?

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Western NSW | Western NSW

Hear from three rural GPs on what it’s like to live and train in Western NSW.

What do you like about rural general practice?

Dr Sally Plunkett, Gulgong and Dunedoo (GPT2): I really enjoy the variety of medicine seen in rural general practice – from dealing with the acutely unwell patient at the local hospital to managing patients’ complex chronic diseases. It’s an incredibly rewarding process where you have the opportunity to make a great difference to a patient’s life in their rural community.

Dr Ed Lee, Mudgee (PRR4):  I really enjoy the scope of work. As an obstetrics GP I deliver babies, no way in Sydney a GP would deliver babies. I’m able to provide antenatal care, I deliver the baby, provide neonatal care and go onto to provide paediatric care. There is great continuity, that you could only get being a rural specialist GP.

Dr Hugh Le Lievre, Orange (Extended Skills): I love providing continuity of care to patients and their families, and becoming immersed in the local community. Every day is honestly different and always presents a challenge. The fact that as general practitioners we have no idea what’s coming through the door next is quite exhilarating, and being on the front line when people need it most is incredibly rewarding.

Would you recommend training in a rural area?

Dr Plunkett:  Definitely. I love being a rural GP trainee! My GP training has been fantastic so far. My GP supervisor has been incredibly supportive with the start of my GP training and is always available to help me with patients.

Dr Lee: I love running into my patients, I’ll stop and say hello. You don’t have that anonymous feeling – it comes with being part of a smaller community. You’re definitely part of the community.

Dr Le Lievre: Absolutely, but having said that, I’ve never practiced in a metropolitan area! As a member of the regional and rural medical workforce, you are able to provide a discernible difference in addressing workforce shortage.

What do you like about living in Western NSW?

Dr Plunkett: My husband and I are based on his family farm near Dunedoo. I love the quiet lifestyle of living in a smaller rural community, away from the hustle and bustle of big cities. Occasionally I get to visit Dubbo and Mudgee and enjoy what the bigger regional cities have to offer – nice food and shopping.

Dr Lee: Mudgee is a fantastic place to live – it’s very cosmopolitan compared to most places. Friends visit Mudgee and we take them to wineries – they love it. There are great cafés and restaurants. There are good local sporting communities. It’s a top spot to come to.

There is so much on offer in Mudgee and you can even easily get back to Sydney if you need to.

Dr Le Lievre: Nothing beats the non-metropolitan lifestyle in my opinion, so working in regional Australia seemed like a natural fit for me. My commute is 5 minutes, and the food and wine on offer in Orange is incredible!

If you would like to know more about the Western NSW training subregion, visit our subregion profile.