Dr Karin Jodlowski-Tan

Rural Council Provost

Dr James Robinson
I grew up and trained in Australia. Following graduation, I worked for over 20 years in rural and remote general practice, particularly in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, and longstanding involvement in GP education with colleges (ACRRM, RACGP, AMAC), and training organisations (RVTS, ACRRM Independent Pathway). I have been involved with rural GP recruitment and retention across my various roles with ACCHS’s, general practices, primary health network (PHN) and training organisations.

Currently I ‘m working as National Clinical Lead Rural at the RACGP, supporting the work in transitioning to college-led training, and recently led the remote clinical exam project.

Over the past 15 years I have been involved in various RACGP committees, including the Rural Education Committee, and the NSW faculty council. 

My special interests include innovations in remote education, nutritional medicine and acupuncture, and more recently the development of physician leadership, and corporate social responsibility projects

Find out more about Dr Karin Jodlowski-Tan below

I’ve worked in rural and remote general practice since I graduated in 1997.

From across the deserts of NT to the far north-west of NSW working with Aboriginal communities. My husband and I set up several rural general practices over the years and then spent over 10 years working with ACCHOs. In the past few years, I experienced working in a large corporate in various roles to gain an understanding of other types of general practices. I’ve had longstanding involvement in GP education and wellbeing, and leadership development, having worked with both GP colleges and national training organisations.

My family lives on a small acreage outside of greater Sydney and we enjoy our little enclave with wildlife, chickens and dogs.

I’m currently working with the RACGP as National Clinical Lead Rural, and continue a small clinical load, and some support services to a rural Aboriginal Health Service on the south coast of NSW.

I stumbled into general practice and found that it suited my broad interests across all the disciplines of medicine. It allowed my husband and I to travel and work across different rural settings. I was also able to pursue my interests in integrative medicine and learn additional skills in musculoskeletal medicine and acupuncture.

There is nothing that invigorates the soul as feeling the thrill of delivering a new life or sharing with a patient in the last moments of their life. As a rural GP we are privileged to be part of such intimate moments of people’s lives.

It was the flexibility of rural medicine and the ability to learn and practice its broad scope that led me to continue working rural. I started my internship in a regional centre, where I had a great experience, gaining practical skills and feeling self-sufficient to venture into the great outback with my husband.

It’s good that we can provide support for each other as clinicians while we worked but also at home juggling competing demands.

There is a sense of connection with community, and the land, which pervades into one’s being. Rural becomes a sense of ones identity, not just geographical. I love the sense of belonging and purpose.

I’m not sure that I can identify one highlight out of such a rich lifetime of work in rural general practice. Some of the most defining moments relate to the times I spent with patients who are dying. I really treasure the times I was allowed into the sanctity of their homes, surrounded by their families and being given moments from the previous moments they have left. Even though we may just hold hands in silence, it’s almost like we are connected without words. That’s so precious.

Our position as rural GP’s exemplifies what all GP’s can do for our communities.

As a Rural Council member we have a responsibility to champion for rural and for our professional roles. We have the opportunity to improve education and support to future rural GP’s and enable a stronger voice in the systems that influence health and wellbeing outcomes for everyone.


Contact your RACGP Rural Council

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