Inverell is becoming a hotspot for GP training with 10 doctors undertaking their community-based training this term.
Five of the doctors are new to town with their training starting this week, while the others have been training here for the last 12 months.
One of the new faces in town, Dr Mary Elsley, is training as a rural generalist, a GP with additional skills designed to better serve rural communities.
“I decided to pursue GP training as I knew I wanted to live and work rurally and found that I enjoyed pretty much all areas of medicine during my junior doctor years.
“Despite loving both paediatrics and obstetrics, I decided on paediatrics to provide more advanced neonatal skills in smaller areas that have maternity units.
“I grew up in Newcastle, completed my internship and residency years at Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital, and having done my family tree a few years back I know I have a lot of family connections to the region!
“Inverell really ticked all the boxes both professionally and personally, I’m settling into Inverell and hope not to move too far in the next couple of years, at least,” Dr Elsley said.
Local GP training organisation GP Synergy Acting CEO, Georgina van de Water, said that rural GP registrars often have a diverse set of skills and knowledge.
“Procedural GPs, such as Dr Elsley, play an important role in filling the healthcare gap in many smaller rural communities like Inverell where hospitals do not have staff specialists.
“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,” Ms van de Water said.
There are currently 72 registrars in the New England/Northwest region training to become GPs.