There are some new faces at Cootamundra Medical Centre, with two doctors who are training to become specialist GPs starting work at the centre.
Dr Sally Johnson is starting her first year of training as a GP, while Dr Mariam Mahmood is starting her second year. They join two other GP trainees who have been working at the centre and have almost completed their training.
Dr Johnson grew up on a property outside of Walgett and is passionate about ensuring rural communities have opportunities for high quality health care.
“I went to university in Sydney and once I had the opportunity I jumped across to the rural school and spent my remaining three years of uni in Wagga Wagga.
“From there I’ve been working at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital for the last three years and I’m finally starting my GP training, and Cootamundra it is!
“I’ve also spent the last 12 months doing my obstetrics diploma, I’m just about finished and when it’s all signed off, I’d love to practice obstetrics in Cootamundra as well.
“It provides the perfect opportunity to continue care after the pregnancy, looking after a new person, and maybe supporting the mum through later pregnancies as well,” Dr Johnson said.
Local GP training organisation GP Synergy CEO, John Oldfield, said that rural GP registrars often have a diverse set of skills and knowledge.
“Procedural GPs, such as Dr Johnson, have additional skills and play an important role in filling the healthcare gap in many smaller rural communities like Cootamundra.
“Welcoming and supporting these new doctors into rural communities and developing robust rural training pipelines for them to pursue, is critical to building a strong and sustainable rural primary care workforce,” Mr Oldfield said.
Across the Murrumbidgee region there are currently 67 GP registrars in various stages of training with GP Synergy.