Dr Laura Sharley knew she wanted to be a GP because she liked building relationships with patients, and following them through everyday hurdles and challenges.
Laura is currently undertaking an Aboriginal Health post based at Nunkuwarrin Yunti in Adelaide. As part of this role, Laura does roving registrar work, where she flies out to different community clinics around South Australia.
“The roving registrar job has provided me with so many opportunities, and being able to go out onto the community lands is such a unique experience. You get to go and work in the school or at the footy grounds and really take the opportunity to engage with people’s health anywhere, which is very different from medicine in the city.”
Through her Aboriginal Health post, Laura has learned about the importance of a holistic approach to medicine and patient care.
What you learn in medical school and university about best care medicine is only so effective to a degree. You need to understand the patient in front of you, their family situation, and the complex co-morbidities that they have, and then be able to apply it to that person’s life, not just that person’s disease. Aboriginal Health gives you the opportunity to do that.
Laura also enjoys the supportive, team-based environment she has working in Aboriginal Health clinics.
“You’ve got your supervisor on-site, a Medical Educator who is always available, a cultural mentor, Aboriginal Health workers, nurses, Allied Health workers, and visiting specialists. These specialists are all so approachable; any time you’ve got a question or a complex patient and you’re wanting a bit of advice, you just walk next door and ask them a question, which is such an amazing educational opportunity.”
Laura’s role has also allowed her to experience the best that South Australia has to offer.
“Working at Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service has been an amazing opportunity to live by the sea. When you knock off, there’s amazing seafood down the road, beautiful ocean views, and a nice relaxing atmosphere to unwind. You’re always two minutes away from the ocean, or two minutes away from the local hills behind for a walk, which is just really good for unwinding at the end of a busy day.”
Dr Laura Sharley is on the pathway towards a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).