Driving 3000 kilometres across Australia to an island on fire immediately before a global pandemic formed Dr Kyle Fairclough’s introduction to rural General Practice.

Originally from Western Australia, Kyle commenced his GP training on Kangaroo Island during the January 2020 bushfires, just weeks before Covid-19 struck.

“During my first months as a registrar I have met some amazing people and had many great experiences, ” he said.

“This includes working with some truly awesome doctors who I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to learn from.

“I have been so inspired by the response of the GPs on Kangaroo Island to the bushfires and Covid-19. They demonstrate so many little acts of kindness that often go unnoticed and have acted as bulwarks of the community.”

Kyle is currently training towards a Fellowship of the Australian College of Remote and Rural Medicine (ACCRM) to become a Rural Generalist.

This was his plan from his first day of medical school.

“I grew up in a little town in Western Australia and don’t believe I had ever met a doctor before medical school who wasn’t a Rural Generalist,” he said.

“I decided to practice medicine because I think people are just fantastic. I do not want to treat hearts, or livers, or noses; I want to treat people. Rural medicine is great because you become part of peoples’ lives and can really get to know them.”

“You see them in the hard times and the good. Every day you get to have a laugh, listen to a yarn, show kindness and invariably – at least on Kangaroo Island – get offered to be taken fishing. Every day is a new challenge.”

Before moving to South Australia, Kyle undertook advanced skills training in Emergency Medicine.

“Emergency medicine opened my eyes to the urgent and serious medical issues that rural GPs should be prepared to deal with on the front line,” he said.

“I knew that emergency skills were always going to benefit to the community and allow me to be better prepared when working in rural and remote areas, and I have and will continually draw on these skills in my work in the future.

Kyle, his partner and their two dogs have settled into life on Kangaroo Island and Kyle is pleased with his decision to chase his rural GP dream to country South Australia.

“Rural generalists are given an incredible opportunity to work within their community. It has been a crazy road to this point and very much worth it.”

Dr Kyle Fairclough is a GPEx rural general practice registrar on the pathway to a Fellowship with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

Contact us to find out how you can become a Rural Generalist