In good news for Narrabri, Dr Saima Arshad (pictured left) is about to complete her GP training and plans to stay in town, while Dr Huan Doan (pictured right) has just started his GP training in town.
Dr Saima Arshad, who has been undertaking her training to become a specialist GP under the supervision of Dr Ojah at Narrabri Medical Centre, has performed well in the final exams and is nearing completion.
“I am very proud of my decision now to become a GP as it is such a rewarding profession, I get to see the positive difference that I can make in other people’s lives,” Dr Arshad said.
“There are a lot of learning opportunities in rural communities as we GPs are the first to see patients whether in hospital or the surgeries.
“I’ve been seeing patients here in Narrabri for the past two years and I have enjoyed looking after them.
“I’m now looking forward to furnishing my skills further to suit the needs of the community.
“My family has moved to Narrabri and we’re planning on staying here for at least the next 3-4 years.”
Based at Bridge Medical Centre, under the supervision of Dr Wanasinghe, Dr Huan Doan has just started his three-to-four-year training journey.
“The town has definitely been welcoming since I’ve arrived here, and my supervisor is more than supportive,” Dr Doan said.
“I’m looking forward to having the opportunity and time to get to know patients and understand their needs and the barriers to receiving the care they need.
“This is definitely a luxury that while working in hospital I rarely had.
“The training pathway I’ve chosen allows me to work in areas with different needs and challenges compared to urban areas.”
CEO of regional GP training organisation GP Synergy, Georgina van de Water, said the local community plays an important role in helping doctors settle in and form personal networks.
“GP registrars contribute significantly to primary healthcare provision in rural areas like Narrabri, with each completing more than 2300 consultations each year” 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.
“Collectively, and individually, we all have a role to play to encourage these doctors to stay working rurally after completing training.
“Receiving a first-class training experience is critical, as is ensuring doctors and their families, are well-supported and nurtured by their local community.”
Drs Arshad and Doan are currently two of 54 GP registrars training in the New England/Northwest subregion.
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Kerryn Stephens | Media and Communications Officer