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Dr Sarah Gleeson

Choose to be a GP > Experiences > Dr Sarah Gleeson

Growing up on a farm near Moree in north-west NSW, Dr Sarah Gleeson has always had a love of rural and regional communities. She went on to study medicine at the University of Adelaide, and her summers in rural clinical schools and placements in regional and remote communities helped her realise a passion for rural medicine.

Growing up on a farm near Moree in north-west NSW, Dr Sarah Gleeson has always had a love of rural and regional communities. She went on to study medicine at the University of Adelaide, and her summers in rural clinical schools and placements in regional and remote communities helped her realise a passion for rural medicine.

Currently the principal GP at Goondiwindi Medical Centre, Dr Gleeson considers herself a rural GP with a passion for ‘cradle-to-grave medicine’ and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. She loves the challenge and opportunity to make a meaningful contribution in a small community, forging strong relationships, learning about family and tribal groups and drawing on expertise from Elders.

Dr Gleeson is dedicated to supporting high-quality, culturally informed healthcare for residents in Goondiwindi. In 2019, Dr Gleeson advocated for an Aboriginal health worker at the medical centre, a mainstream practice, which came to fruition in 2020 when Rebecca Bell started in the role.

‘[Rebecca] is crucial in working towards our goal of improving equity of access for our Aboriginal patients. With her strong connection to community, she is perfectly positioned to provide meaningful support and advocacy for patients when they are accessing care at Goondiwindi Medical Centre.’
The location of the medical centre has also enabled her to provide outreach services to Aboriginal patients in Boggabilla, a small town in the far north of inland NSW. She acknowledges that continuing engagement of the community is important, and every year there is more traction.

‘Relationships and trust take time; you need a commitment to the community. The people need to see you are there and you are coming back to follow up their care. Understanding the family structures and the health of the whole family enables stronger relationships and greater trust.’

Building trust and rapport has ensured good feedback and better attendances, and allows the clinic to grow. Dr Gleeson has also established a partnership with Boggabilla Central School, in the hope of providing health knowledge in a safe space, improving equity of access and developing rapport and trust in healthcare from an early age.

‘I'm supported by an amazing and dedicated team at Boggabilla Community Health and the Goondiwindi Medical Centre, who all strive to provide excellent care to our Aboriginal patients. I absolutely love working with and caring for the Boggabilla community, and I am honoured that the community has placed their trust in me to take care of them over the last eight years.’
 

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