Whilst local GPs, Drs David Lockart and Matt Chan both undertook their GP training in Tamworth, their journeys to becoming a GP were quite different.
For Dr Lockart, the decision to become a GP in Tamworth was always an easy one.
“I was born and bred in Tamworth, I moved to the city for uni and my hospital training and then was able to move back for my career in general practice.
“I’ve been here in Tamworth for a few years now.
“I get to see newborn babies and their great grandparents at the same time – that’s the part I really like. It’s cradle to grave medicine. It’s treating the whole person and whole family.” Dr Lockart said
It was a different story for Dr Chan, who moved from Sydney without knowing much about the region at all. However, it didn’t take long for him to appreciate the benefits of rural training and the decision to stay on after completing his specialist training.
“During training I was able to learn a lot more, trouble shoot a lot more and learn things that specialists would be doing in the city.
“I had a great experience with my training and I wouldn’t change it, if I had the opportunity over I’d do the same.”
Both doctors stayed on after their training to work as GPs in the accredited training practice, Barton Lane Practice.
Dr Lockart is now a GP supervisor, in addition to being medical educator for GP training provider, GP Synergy.
“Teaching is something I’m passionate about, I’ve done it all along from being an intern teaching medical students to now a medical educator teaching GP registrars,” he said.
GP Synergy CEO, Georgina van de Water, said Barton Lane Practice is one of many rural practices that have benefitted from doctors being able to train rurally under the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT).
“Since 2002, more than 10,000 doctors have achieved fellowship through the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program nationally.
“GP registrars provide valuable primary healthcare to rural communities during their training, undertaking more than 59,000 consultations in the New England/Northwest region in the first half of last year alone.
“Feedback from registrars over the many years that we have been training doctors to specialise as GPs in rural communities, is that training in a rural setting in the AGPT program offers a rich and rewarding learning environment.
“Local community and medical education support can play an important role in their decision to stay once they have become a qualified GP.
“With four GP Synergy GP alumni currently working in the practice, Barton Lane is one of many examples of retention of rural GP registrars across the region,” she said.
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Kerryn Stephens | Media and Communications Officer