Dr David Lam

GPs in Training Faculty representative

Dr Sue Page
Dr David Lam is the GPs in Training (GPiT) representative of the RACGP Rural Council. He is a rural GP based in Port Lincoln, South Australia, and the 2019 RACGP National General Practitioner of the Year. He is also the Rural Medicine Coordinator at the University of Adelaide School of Medicine. In this role, he delivers weekly teaching to all medical students based in rural South Australia.

Dr Lam is the creator of the “GP Lyf Hacks” podcast for (GPiTs) and a medical educator at the South Australian RTO, GPEx. For his commitment to training doctors, he was awarded the Derek Frewin Citation for Clinical Teaching and the Best Rural Teacher Award at the University of Adelaide School of Medicine.

Dr Lam also has a keen interest in Aboriginal health and mental health and is a doctor at Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service and Headspace Port Augusta.


Find out more about Dr David Lam

I am a rural GP based in Port Lincoln, South Australia. I also work at Headspace Port Augusta and Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Services and do outreach trips to the neighbouring towns of Streaky Bay, Cleve, Cowell, Kimba and Elliston as these towns do not always have a doctor.

As a GP, I enjoy working closely with each patient so that, together, we can come up with a plan to make sure they stay healthy. I like empowering patients to make informed decisions about their own healthcare rather than me simply telling them what to do.

As a Hakka (客家) Chinese Australian doctor, I believe that all people in Australia should receive the same best quality health care regardless of age, race, belief and postcode. Sadly, we’re not there yet, so my rural medicine journey is about evening those odds, especially for people living in the country.

My favourite parts of my job are working as part of a team with other doctors, health professionals and the patient themselves to keep everyone safe. As a rural GP, I love being able to do procedures as well. I am about to commence training to become a GP Anaesthetist. I also enjoy medical teaching. It is very fulfilling to be able to steer the next generation of bright minds away from mistakes I have made in my career.

My personal highlight as a GP was being named the 2019 RACGP National GP of the Year. It was a humbling experience given that there are over 30,000 hard-working GPs across the country. I was also ecstatic the morning that I found out I had passed my fellowship exams in 2017. By the evening, word had spread around the town and all the doctors, nurses and guys from my boxing club had all packed into the local pub at short notice to celebrate with me.

My objectives are:

  1. Ensuring the best quality medical education and mentorship of medical students and doctors in training based in rural areas
  2. Creating sustainable health workforces in small country towns without a regular doctor
  3. Increasing services for populations in need such as youth mental health and Aboriginal health

I first came to Port Lincoln as a fifth year medical student on a year-long placement. This is the best career move I ever made. Even as a student, the hands-on experience was phenomenal. I learnt how to intubate, deliver a baby, deal with trauma, lacerations and other emergencies. Just as important was the one-on-one mentorship that I received from the doctors in the town. You don’t necessarily get that in the metropolitan areas where the proportion of students and trainees to supervisors is far higher.

I came back to Port Lincoln as a GP registrar the first opportunity I could, completed my training and have stayed here as a fully accredited GP enjoying the work, the beach and the fresh seafood.

Contact your RACGP Rural Council

racgp.org.au/rural |  1800 636 764 |   rural@racgp.org.au