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What’s Great About A Rural Or Remote Placement?

Discussion in 'AMC' started by Lets Enjoy Medicine, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. Lets Enjoy Medicine

    Lets Enjoy Medicine Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2021
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    There are many advantages to participating in a rural or remote elective placement that may not be available in metropolitan placements.

    Rural and regional Queensland offers a relaxed lifestyle, and the opportunity to live in a unique, natural environment. The local communities are supportive and there are many other benefits to going ‘rural’. These include developing ties with a close-knit community, an active outdoor lifestyle, no more commute, and cheaper cost of living, to name a few.

    However, there are also many professional benefits. Most of the supervisors and medical educators at GPTQ have experienced rural medicine, at the very least during training, with many enjoying permanent rural positions and the lifestyle that goes with it.

    What do our GPs say?

    Our GPs have the same message for students: training in a rural area allows for greater variety of work, increased autonomy and responsibility, greater diversity in patient mix, greater opportunity to specialise or work in Indigenous health, access to support networks and professional development, and financial benefits that include a rural and remote allowance and the HECS Reimbursement Scheme for rural service.

    1. Gain broader experience

    Dr Cathy Lee, a Brisbane-based GP and GPTQ Medical Educator encourages students to train in the country or in regional hospitals, to gain a broader experience. “Training in a regional hospital definitely had advantages for a career in general practice,” says Cathy. “I was able to do fantastic terms like sexual health and drug and alcohol medicine, and I held junior registrar positions in medicine, psychiatry and emergency. This often involved working independently and taking on extra responsibilities, while still having supervision available.”

    2. Experience more autonomy

    Dr Matthew French, Beaudesert-based GP and GPTQ Medical Educator says: “I was a rural generalist trainee with the rural generalist program from the end of medical school. I was always interested in going back and doing rural generalist medicine within a community-based practice and at the hospital.”

    For the last four years, Matthew has been located at Beaudesert, practising primarily in Beaudesert Hospital, including community-based medicine, hospital-based emergency and anaesthetics, and ward rounds, as well as teaching medical students in Toowoomba. He says when it comes to rural practice, there are no limits.

    3. Pursue a specialty

    Dr Mike Hurley is a GPTQ Medical Educator and GP. Mike’s decision to become a rural GP was cemented by his experience of rural rotations in Stanthorpe, Queensland, and Gove, in the Northern Territory. “I applied for the rural pathway after this experience,” he says. Mike also enjoyed his anaesthetic term so much that he decided to combine it together into one career as a rural generalist. “I did my internship at Logan and my anaesthetic year at Caboolture,” he says. Mike now works as a hospital-based general practitioner in Beaudesert, specialising in anaesthetics and emergency general practice.

    4. Discover greater diversity

    Working within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is a unique Australian experience, unmatched overseas. Dr Danielle Arabena is GPTQ’s Indigenous Health Educator and part of an Indigenous health team that liaises and makes connections with Aboriginal Medical Services. “I tutor and mentor Indigenous registrars that are going through GPTQ. I facilitate national workshops for our Indigenous registrars through RACGP. I provide support for registrars who are interested in Indigenous health training, and for my Indigenous registrars as well.”

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