Published by GPEx on November 19, 2020

Dr Megan Wild

Meet Dr Megan Wild, Megan took the Rural Generalist pathway and hasn’t looked back…

As a rural kid, she didn’t really know that there were other types of doctors besides rural generalists! Megan assumed that all doctors attended to broken arms, delivered babies, stitched up scrapes and cared for your nanna in hospital with pneumonia, so naturally that was the kind of doctor she aspired to be. Little did she know how much more she could provide for her local community as a Rural Generalist herself.

Now, a Rural Generalist with advanced skills in Obstetrics, Megan finds her career highly rewarding…

“I love being able to provide a person with holistic care within their own environment for over a long period of time….providing equitable access to healthcare regardless of the person’s circumstance, in a safe manner, without barriers for patients whom are seeking that care.”

Megan’s medical training has exposed her to experiences with many different specialities, but she was always hooked on the idea of being a jack of all trades and truly being able to support people from the cradle to grave.

I think I have always been fixed on the vocation of rural generalist with an obstetric speciality. I was very lucky that the opportunity at Murray Bridge came up to further my obstetric skills while training in the community as a GP.

Mentors have played an important role in Megan’s development to become the doctor she is today, and that started in Medical School and continued throughout her GP training.

Associate Professor David Mills of the University of Adelaide gave me great support and encouragement during my senior medical school years doing placements in Port Lincoln and Ceduna and providing a platform to continue growing my interests in rural health.

Then Dr David Mills at Kompiam Rural Hospital in Papua New Guinea became a role model practising the true rural generalist skillset of anaesthetics, surgery, obstetrics, medicine, emergency and everything in between.

My post-graduate training has been and continues to be strongly supported by Dr Martin Altmann, acting as my supervisor, mentor and colleague.

It’s as a Rural Generalist, you can shape your career to be unique to you, to pursue your own specialist interests in one area or another and be able to provide that special expertise to your community.

I frequently thought to myself during my training years that I was living the dream.

There is flexibility to determine how ‘acute’ you want your medicine to be, and how sub-specialised you want your special interests to be. Being a Rural Generalist gives you the opportunity to liaise with a broad range of specialists, learn from them and develop relationships to benefit your patients and further your own education.

Megan shares that she finds her career very satisfying, to be able to work closely with patients over the course of their health care journey. To be able to support them as an outpatient in the clinic, then admit them to hospital through the emergency department, transfer them to a tertiary centre for further treatment and then accept them back into your care at the local hospital. To witness the improvements in the patient over time provides a greater understanding and appreciation for the natural history of various pathologies and the resilience of the human body.

The skills that you develop as a Rural Generalist gives you a more robust approach to life.

I am lucky that I live in a beautiful place, I have a beautiful drive to work and to top it off, living in a rural community is more relaxed. It is an easier commute, provides me with access to great sporting clubs and I really am able to live a wonderful lifestyle in the cleaner country air.

And for those of you looking to pursue opportunities as a Rural Generalist …

I encourage you to just to give it a go. Sitting and watching someone else doing Rural Generalism is not the same as living it yourself, I don’t think anybody has ever regretted obtaining a wider set of skills.