Dr Claire Monaghan started her training to become a specialist GP at Temora Medical Complex in February on what was to be a six-month stint.
Training in Temora during the pandemic has proven to be a good move, and Dr Monaghan decided to stay in town for another six months.
“Initially, when things were really ramping up with COVID-19 there was a lot of telehealth, but now most people are coming in and they know that if they have got any kind of symptoms, they call.
“We certainly haven’t had any shortage of people coming in to see us,” Dr Monaghan said.
Dr Monaghan is just one of 1900 doctors training to specialise as a GP across NSW and ACT. To become a GP, doctors spend three to four years training in a variety of hospital and community-based settings.
It was on the recommendation of a peer that she chose Temora as the town to undertake rural training to get a wider breadth of experience.
“While Wagga Wagga is an hour down the road there are more things in rural practice that you are expected to manage on our own, which is very rewarding.
“It challenges you to really expand your skill set and to offer as many services as you can for people just so that they can have care undertaken at home and not have to travel to have a basic procedure done.
“I have an interest in returning to the country and being a doctor in a country setting.
“Everyone’s been very welcoming, I’ve felt very much at home in Temora since I’ve arrived, which has been really lovely,” Dr Monaghan said.
Local GP training organisation GP Synergy CEO, Georgina van de Water, said the community welcoming registrars like Dr Monaghan as they settle into a town makes their move easier.
“GP registrars often play an important role in primary healthcare provision in rural areas like Temora,” Mrs van de Water said.
“Over the many years that we have been training doctors to specialise as GPs in rural communities, the consistent feedback we receive is that they find rural training a rich and rewarding learning environment.
“As we have seen in the case of Dr Monaghan and Temora, how local communities welcome and support GP registrars during their training can have a significant impact on their experience and career decisions.”
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