There will be some new faces in Moree general practices this week as five doctors begin their community-based GP training at Associate Medical Practice, Balo Street Medical Centre and Pius X Aboriginal Medical Service.
Two of the new arrivals – Dr Lauren Vernon and Dr Lisa Simpson – are both training as procedural GPs and will also be working as anaesthetists at Moree Hospital.
Dr Vernon has moved to Moree from the NSW North Coast and is looking forward to getting to know patients and seeing them through from the first presentation of a problem, to diagnosis, treatment and follow up.
“Moree seems to provide a great balance in that I can provide anaesthetics, cover the emergency department, manage in-patients in the hospital, see nursing home patients and spend time as a GP.
“It seems like the perfect place for becoming the good all-round doctor that I want to be,” Dr Vernon said.
Dr Simpson grew up in Newcastle and has been working in Maitland Hospital but is familiar with Moree as her mother grew up on a farm near Bundarra.
“I’m really looking forward to being a procedural GP in Moree.
“I’m interested in the challenge and variety of general medicine, and working in preventative health, not just seeing people in hospital who are already unwell.
“My husband and I have bought a place out of town, so I’m also looking forward to living close to work!” Dr Simpson said.
To specialise as a GP, doctors undertake three to four years of additional training in a combination of hospital and general practice settings, coordinated in NSW and ACT by training provider, GP Synergy.
GP Synergy Director of Education and Training Dr Vanessa Moran said that rural GP registrars need a diverse set of skills and knowledge.
“We deliver regionalised training, led by local medical education teams, to help registrars meet local community health needs.
“Procedural GPs, such as Drs Vernon and Simpson, play an important role in many smaller rural communities like Moree where hospitals do not have staff specialists, GPs with procedural skills fill that healthcare gap.
“Welcoming and supporting new doctors into rural communities, as well as developing robust rural training pipelines for doctors, is critical to building a strong and sustainable rural primary care workforce,” Dr Moran said.
The new trainees join three GP registrars already working in Moree. There are currently 79 registrars in the New England/Northwest region training to become GPs.