I ended up in General Practice by mistake, but it turned out to be the best mistake of my life.
After spending several years in the ACEM training program, I was tired of never waking my son up or being able to put him to bed. I decided to take a year off and spend some time working in General Practice at the same clinic my wife was working at - she always seemed so happy and the practice were more than accommodating to walk me through the paperwork to get me started.
I had intended to only spend 12 months there, but quickly found the work to be the most rewarding experience I had ever had in medicine. Rather than patching together patients for admission or discharge, I was able to improve their health and actively prevent presentations to ED in the first place.
Working in the country, many acute presentations such as lacerations and fractures are still managed in the general practice setting and I quickly found my time as a GP Registrar just as exciting and twice as rewarding as when I was in the nearby ED. My fears of only seeing coughs and colds were replaced with the management and fine tuning of complex comorbidities and can say that my time as a GP Registrar is incredibly intellectually stimulating.
Working in the country, I also have the privilege of a wide variety of cases to manage and coordinate simply because the access to subspecialties is more restricted - but have found my medical peers incredibly supportive and always happy to answer calls from a country GP seeking support. Likewise, my clinic were only too happy to guide me through the subsequent RACGP applications and foster my education as I move towards fellowship - plus, I get to wake my son every morning, and put him to bed every night!
Given the breadth of General Practice there are opportunities to explore your own interests - given my interests in critical care and preventative medicine I've even found myself as the coordinator for the regional Respiratory Assessment Clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic and also work as a COVID Project Management Officer at our hospital.
Even if you only do it for one year time spent working in a rural setting will let you find out what kind of doctor you can be, and set you up for the rest of your life. Give it a go!
Thanks to MCCC
for providing this story.
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