Going rural as a GP in Kingaroy Living and working as a GP in rural Queensland provides a unique and enriching experience that’s as much about lifestyle as it is about advancing your medical career. Becoming a rural GP can often mean more exposure to a wider array of medical experiences and patient presentations, with ample opportunities to enhance your professional development. Going rural is all about escaping the frantic pace, traffic jams and stresses of the city and adopting a more relaxed way of life. Each rural placement is different, so deciding which one is right for you is a personal choice based on your career aspirations, lifestyle and family goals and geographical preferences. Kingaroy, in Queensland’s South Burnett region, is an intriguing option for those who are looking to go rural but still want to be within convenient driving distance to Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast beaches. Big-town facilities in a relaxed, small-town environment Despite its friendly, small-town atmosphere, Kingaroy has a surprising range of attractions and facilities for singles, couples and families. Conveniently situated at the junction of the Bunya and D’Aguilar highways, it boasts several primary schools and secondary schools, a TAFE centre, over a dozen day care facilities, a regional airport, numerous restaurants, a handful of lively pubs and bars and a cinema. Sporting clubs abound, catering for everything from tennis and golf to soccer and cricket. There is a speedway track, an aquatic centre and plenty of local sporting teams to barrack for on weekends. Kingaroy is popular with young families and offers a wealth of cultural activities including dance classes, music lessons, an art gallery, photo club, garden club, choral society, writer’s association, folk art studio and much more. With a monthly crafts market, local winery, quality coffee shops and wide array of ongoing social events, Kingaroy is an easy place to make new friends. Because it’s an agricultural hub, you’ll also find an impressive selection of affordable, locally produced fruits and veggies. Broadband Internet access is excellent in the area, with NBN Ultrafibre and ADSL2+ available. First-class medical facilities Kingaroy’s health care facilities include three hospitals as well as a number of general practices, including Markwell Medical, Bunya Pines Family Practice and the South Burnett Medical Centre. Kingaroy Hospital also provides an Aboriginal Health Outreach Service. Kingaroy falls within the Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network. Dr Saane Fox is a GP registrar living and working in Kingaroy. Currently completing her training at the South Burnett Medical Centre, Dr Fox says GPs are so important in a town like Kingaroy. “GPs are often the first person a patient will see and trust with their symptoms. You experience all the stages of their illness, injury and recovery and you learn to appreciate their medical background on a more personal level than is possible in a big city hospital. The continuity of care is a real positive, both for you and the patient.” Being a rural GP, says Dr Fox, is also a rewarding experience. “Farming life can be tough for all kinds of reasons – financial stresses, anxiety and depression are all commonly encountered,” she says. “It’s great to be able to make a difference in both the physical and also the mental health of the community.” Affordable housing While there are a few apartments in town, over 80 percent of the accommodation in Kingaroy consists of separate houses, most of which are roomy, well-equipped and reasonably priced. A three-bedroom home might cost between $200,000 and $250,000, with rental of a similarly-sized flat coming in at around the $250 per week mark. Most Kingaroy residents get around by car, although there is a weekday coach service that stops at Murgon, Blackbutt, Kingaroy and Caboolture. Toowoomba is 152 kms away and Brisbane around 215 kms (about a 3 hour drive). Enjoying the stunning outdoors When you live in Kingaroy, experiencing outdoor activities quickly becomes a way of life. In town, the Carroll Nature Reserve is conveniently placed for weekend strolls and family picnics. Hopping on a bicycle is a pleasant way to explore the surrounding countryside and keep fit at the same time. The Bunya Mountains National Park is one of Queensland’s most unique natural environments – and from Kingaroy, you can drive there in less than an hour. Here you’ll find short and long hiking trails, rainforest waterfalls, unique plant and animal life, superb camping facilities and the chance to immerse yourself in true wilderness. The Bunya Mountains region is an oasis of pristine wonder, but if you’re not into camping, don’t worry – there are plenty of wonderfully civilised holiday homes, chalets and B&Bs in the area as well. Whether your tastes run toward the chilled-out or the energetic, making the most of the outdoors is a big part of living in Kingaroy. Embrace the country lifestyle With a population of around 10,000, Kingaroy offers a peaceful alternative to busier centres while providing most of the facilities you’ll need to live comfortably and safely in a country setting. Its exceptional shopping, sporting and cultural opportunities, combined with a young, vibrant population and prime South Burnett location, make it a promising choice for aspiring GPS.