Settling into a new area is always easier if the locals give you a warm welcome.
On Thursday night general practice training provider, GP Synergy, brought together more than 50 local health professionals and community representatives in Ballina, for a networking event to help doctors training to become specialist GPs settle into the area.
GP Synergy Regional Head of Education North Coast Associate Professor Rashmi Sharma OAM, welcomed guests including Ballina Shire Mayor Cr David Wright OAM, encouraging them to get to know the doctors who are training in general practices in Alstonville, Ballina, Byron Bay, Brunswick Head, Evans Head, Lismore and Mullumbimby.
“Specialising as a GP requires an additional three to four years training in a community setting, with the doctors training under the supervision of local GPs.
“There are currently 32 GP registrars in various stages of their training in general practices in this area, with 120 in the North Coast region” Associate Professor Sharma said.
Local GP Dr Bettie Honey, after working in the hospital system in Sydney, moved to the North Coast for her training and found it a beautiful environment to live.
“I decided to commence my GP training on the North Coast, as it came up tops from the areas I could choose, I have now raised my children in the area and have found it really good for young families.
“The holistic care I can provide to my patients and their families was what motivated me to become a GP in the first instance.
“I then became a supervisor to be able to share my knowledge and to help train the next generation.
“An added advantage has been the level of learning I am doing at the same time – we try to learn together,” Dr Honey said.
Associate Professor Sharma explained that GP Synergy is committed to supporting the trainees and their supervisors to ensure that the GPs starting their careers receive not only the best medical training.
“We also provide assistance to doctors moving to rural and regional locations for GP training to settle in.
“This event is a good example, as it’s an opportunity for the new doctors and their partners to meet locals and make connections in the community,” Associate Professor Sharma said.