Rock-climbing takes preparation – it is much the same as being a GP. You need to put all your training into practice and prepare for the unexpected during your journey.
For Dr Karina Lim, the unexpected means never knowing who is about to come through the door and how she can help them.
Patient relationships are at the core of what Karina does and her approach to general practice, from birth to death, and in sickness and in health, she is there to be a trusted confidante to her patients.
Karina believes that being a GP requires more than textbook knowledge or clinical experience – it needs a certain intuition that can only be developed from life outside the four walls of a consulting room.
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"I think what general practice has over other specialties is that we’re at the frontline of healthcare… You never know who’s going to walk in the door, what they’re going to have, what’s going to be wrong with them, and it’s like trying to work out a puzzle."
"The relationships you develop with patients is a really special one. They disclose things to you that they probably wouldn’t do to anybody else, so they’re trusting you with their healthcare and their secrets."
Karina, being the daughter of two family doctors, was brought up around general practice and spent her school holidays filling in as a receptionist at their Central Coast practice. Karina now appreciates how much it influenced her decision to follow in her parents’ footsteps, especially seeing how patients in her community put their trust in her parents – this showed her the value of patient relationships and continuity of care.
During her training, Karina enjoyed transitioning between the varied rotations and she realised that the only specialty that would allow her to continue working across all the different fields was general practice.