It was during her training to become a GP on the Australian General Practice Training program that Dr Tara Thambimuthu fell in love with Evans Head.
She loved it so much she decided to stay on after training, becoming co-owner of Evans Head Medical Centre.
Dr Thambimuthu says the experience has been deeply satisfying, providing a greater opportunity to become a part of the community.
“As a junior doctor I enjoyed all of the rotations through the hospital but missed the variety that general practice offered.
“I also wanted to become a greater part of the patient journey beyond acute care,” Dr Thambimuthu said.
Coupling that with the rural lifestyle and more flexible hours that being a GP offered, entering GP training with Ballina-based GP training provider GP Synergy was an obvious choice.
“The Northern Rivers region has the perfect climate, outdoor lifestyle and social scene,” Dr Thambimuthu said.
“GP Synergy’s training program provided the opportunity to train in a wide variety of general practices including more rural practices such as Evans Head Medical Centre.”
GP Synergy CEO, Georgina van de Water, said Evans Head Medical Centre is one of many rural practices that have benefitted from doctors being able to train rurally under the Australian General Practice Training program.
“Feedback from registrars over the many years that we have been training doctors to specialise as GPs on the North Coast, is that training in a rural setting offers a rich and rewarding learning environment.
“Local community support can play an important role in their decision to stay once they have become a qualified GP.
“There are currently 180 GP trainees located in accredited general practices across the North Coast region.
“Dr Thambimuthu’s experience is one of the examples of rural GP trainees across the region staying in the communities they trained in,” Mrs van de Water said.
Beyond the lifestyle benefits, Dr Dr Thambimuthu says rural practice has enabled her to develop a wide variety of clinical skills.
“We are often required to manage emergencies because we are the only practice in a 35km radius as we service Evans Head, to Iluka, Coraki, Casino, Broadwater and Woodburn.
“The best thing about working in Evans Head is the team of doctors, nurses and receptionists that I work with at the practice, my patients, and the close-knit community,” she said.
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Kerryn Stephens | Media and Communications Officer