For the residents of the small town of Dunedoo, having access to a GP two days a week makes a big difference.
That GP is Dr Sally Plunkett, a recently fellowed GP who completed her GP training in nearby Gulgong, with local GP training provider, GP Synergy.
“I went into medicine knowing I wanted to be a rural GP.
“I did my GP training in Gulgong with Dr Alseneid and loved being a rural GP trainee, I really enjoyed the variety of medicine that you see in rural practice,” she said.
Since fellowing, Dr Plunkett who lives with her husband on the nearby family farm has set up a two-day a week clinic at the Dunedoo Multipurpose Service.
“Being able to practice from my own rooms at the MPS has been a great way to balance general practice and a new baby.
“It’s incredibly rewarding when you have the opportunity to make a great difference to a patient’s life in their own rural community,” Dr Plunkett said.
Local GP training organisation GP Synergy CEO, Georgina van de Water, said Dr Plunkett is one of many doctors that have trained rurally under the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program and stayed on after training to provide valuable primary healthcare to rural communities.
“Doctors typically spend three to four years in the AGPT program to specialise as a GP, with dedicated supervisors and regional medical education delivery and support,” Mrs van de Water said.
“Since 2002, more than 10,000 doctors have achieved fellowship through the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program nationally.
“Feedback from registrars over the many years that we have been training doctors to specialise as GPs in rural communities, is that training in a rural setting in the AGPT program offers a rich and rewarding learning environment.
“Providing high quality, supervised GP education and training is critical for the future health of our local communities.”
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Kerryn Stephens | Media and Communications Officer