Grafton has provided a wonderful learning environment for local GP Synergy trainee and emergency department doctor Dr Vanessa Hewitt.
Originally from Sydney, Dr Hewitt, has enjoyed her time living and training in Grafton so much that she intends on staying.
“As a medical student I spent a year in Mudgee working alongside rural generalists – specialist GPs with additional skills to better serve rural communities.
“I could see the life and it appealed to me, both the variety of work and the opportunity to become part of the community.
“I really loved emergency medicine as a junior medical officer and enjoyed training in an emergency department for three years but missed the continuity of care that comes with general practice.
“I knew when I started training as a rural generalist, I had found the perfect mix for me,” Dr Hewitt said.
Dr Hewitt is completing her specialist GP training through the Australian General Practice Training program, delivered in NSW and ACT by GP Synergy.
GP Synergy CEO, Georgina van de Water, said Dr Hewitt is one of 180 GP trainees located across the North Coast region, with four in Grafton.
“On average a typical full time equivalent GP trainee will see more than 5180 consultations a year, making a significant contribution to primary health care.
“Doctors training through the AGPT program are well supported with local delivery by medical education teams, and supervision from accredited local GPs.
“Since 2002, more than 10,000 doctors have become specialist GPs through the program nationally,” Mrs van de Water said.
Dr Hewitt is appreciative of the assistance she has received in Grafton.
“My GP and ED supervisors and the coordinator at the Clarence Valley Regional Training hub have been paramount in making me feel well supported and have ensured I have prioritised my work-life balance.
“My GP supervisor at the Ochre GP Superclinic, Dr Cooper, has worked in Grafton for many years and understands my training needs and is assisting me in identifying any knowledge and skills gaps before my final exams.
“General practice and hospital work is a challenging and rewarding mix with different team-based approaches and I get to work with, and learn, from lots of people with different skill sets.
“I also get a lot of joy and meaning from teaching and mentoring medical students that come to Grafton for a year, it’s a way I get to give back,” Dr Hewitt said.
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Kerryn Stephens | Media and Communications Officer