When I was a child, I assumed every doctor delivered babies as well as treated broken wrists and cared for your Nanna in hospital with pneumonia – so naturally, I wanted to do all of these things too!
As a GP, every day is different – different patients, presentations and emergencies.
It’s satisfying to work with your patients closely over their health care journey. You might see them as an outpatient in clinic, then admit them to hospital through the emergency department, transfer them to a tertiary centre, and then accept them back to your local hospital again. The improvement you witness gives you a greater appreciation for the natural history of various pathologies, and the resilience of the human body.
I would like to think that my involvement in pregnancy care has also resulted in safer and happier deliveries of the hundred plus babies that I have followed, from early pregnancy through to personal delivery. I have enjoyed watching these children grow, start running around and get younger siblings. The feedback that I get from these families is that they enjoy having a doctor who knows them and their family, and who will be there to continue to support the growth and the health of their families.
As a Rural Generalist, you can shape your career to be what you want it to be, have specialist interests in one area or another, and provide that special expertise to your community. There is flexibility to determine how ‘acute’ you want your medicine to be, and how sub-specialised you want your special interests to be. I think the Rural Generalist pathway is the most interesting of the primary health care pathways.
To top it off, living in a rural community is more relaxed. The commute is easier, the sporting clubs are fantastic, and there is the potential to live a great lifestyle in cleaner air.