As an elite swimmer, Dr Anna Windsor competed at two Summer Olympics and three world championships. After retiring from competitive swimming her next challenge was studying medicine and becoming a GP. Dr Windsor is now GP Synergy’s Regional Head of Education Western NSW.
For Dr Windsor there are definite parallels between being an athlete and a GP.
“I think what made me a good athlete and now as a GP and Regional Head of Education, is that as an athlete you need to learn time management and efficiency.
“While I competed individually you also need to be part of a team – just like being a GP,” she said.
As Regional Head of Education Dr Windsor leads a medical education team responsible for delivering a high-quality GP education and training program that meets the needs of communities in Western NSW.
“I cover an area from Bathurst and Mudgee to Broken Hill and Bourke.
“Yesterday I was at Broken Hill for the day sitting in on a clinical training day, it’s a privilege – although I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like,” Dr Windsor said.
Her own experience as a GP in Orange means Dr Windsor, knows first-hand the benefits of working and living in a rural area.
“I love everything about living in Orange – I grew up in Orange and left at 15 because of swimming – going back as a junior doctor there was such a wonderful spirt working there, a real collegial spirit.
“As a GP I’m honoured that people share their stories with me – sometimes it’s the first time they’ve shared their story with anyone, not even a loved one.
“People also trust you to facilitate the change to help them. It’s a real gift and responsibility,” she said.
Dr Windsor recommends giving being a rural GP a go, the great skills to be learnt aren’t the only benefit.
“The work-life balance and enjoyment I get, I wouldn’t get in any other area of medicine.
“There’s also the variety, it’s not boring that’s for sure,” she said.