Tamworth-based GP and GP Synergy medical educator, Dr David Lockart enjoys the contrast that being a medical educator gives to clinical practice, and he has some great advice for doctors thinking about GP training.
Why did you decide to become a medical educator?
Teaching is something I’m passionate about, I’ve done it all along from being an intern teaching medical students to now a medical educator teaching registrars.
What do you enjoy about being a medical educator?
One of the best things about being a medical educator is helping registrars to challenge their thinking from hospital-based thinking to GP thinking, it’s the change to whole people care, not just addressing a medical problem.
I like being able to build their confidence to be a safe and effective GP. It can be overwhelming as a GP registrar first off – you start off in a room by yourself seeing patients – it’s quite different.
What do you like about being a rural GP?
I’m involved in many parts of people’s lives, different generations and different settings.
There is also work-life balance in being a GP. And being in Tamworth it’s only a few minutes from work to come home, I have time to look after a little bit of land.
Importantly, you can play a part in deciding what health care looks like in your area, and in making changes for the future. It can be really hard to do that in a city setting.
Why do you think rural GPs are so important to rural communities?
There are many reasons why GPs are so important to rural communities.
Being a rural GP includes a lot more responsibility for patient care, you are the person’s doctor you can’t just send them off to see specialists.
There’s a lot more variety in the medicine and variety in the parts of people’s lives when you see them.
You can also have so much more involvement in the community.
What advice do you give to doctors thinking of training to be a GP?
GP training in itself is an incredibly valuable opportunity to try different things, different practice in a different setting, it’s a real learning opportunity.
You can stop after a six-month term and see whether it worked – you can decide whether you want to do it again or do something different.
You can decide what being GP might look like for you in the future.