Cowra GP and obstetrician, Dr Teena Downton, is familiar to some as their local doctor, but she is also working to ensure trainee GPs in rural areas are well supported on their journey to becoming GP specialists.
After completing her own GP training with GP Synergy, the regional GP training organisation based in Dubbo, Dr Downton is now working as a GP Synergy medical educator.
“I became a medical educator to add diversity to my work as a GP obstetrician and allow me to “give back” and support the new trainees coming through.
“I am appreciative of the good teaching and education I received during my GP training.
“The GP curriculum is so broad, and trainees often find it tough to know where to start.
“I think it is important for GP trainees to be supported with quality education and training that is responsive to their learning needs and the needs of their communities.
“Quality medical education will help nurture happier, better skilled, and better prepared doctors,” Dr Downton said.
Supporting GP trainees based in locations from Mudgee to Broken Hill on their three-to-four-year training journey, is a job she values.
“I enjoy hearing from GP trainees about diagnostic dilemmas that they were able to solve and what it is like to live and work in different towns across the state.
“As a medical educator it is a privilege to stay in touch with GP trainees and see them grow in their knowledge, experience and professional identity.
“It is also a way that I can also contribute ideas to GP Synergy, informed by my own experience of having recently completed GP training,” Dr Downton said.
GP Synergy CEO, Georgina van de Water, said Dr Downton is one of many doctors that have trained rurally under the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program and stayed on after training to provide valuable primary healthcare to rural communities.
“Since 2002, more than 10,000 doctors have achieved fellowship through the AGPT program nationally.
“Currently there are 122 GP registrars training in the Western NSW subregion and seven in Cowra.
“Feedback from registrars over the many years that we have been training doctors to specialise as GPs, is that training in a rural setting in the AGPT program offers a rich and rewarding learning environment.
”Local medical education teams, like the one Dr Downton is a part of, play a key role in ensuring the high quality of these learning experiences and high quality healthcare for local communities,” Mrs van de Water said.
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Kerryn Stephens | Media and Communications Officer