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Council member profiles


Meet our members

The RACGP WA Council member profiles are here for you to put a face to a name and learn a little more about the Council member who represents you in your community.

The questions we asked included:

  • What is one thing no one knows about you?
  • What attracted you to general practice?
  • What has been your best moment as a general practitioner?
  • What objectives do you have as a Council member?
  • What is one thing you have learnt that you think other GPs could benefit from?

Following are their stories.



Dr Ramya Raman, Chair, RACGP WA

 

Dr Ramya RamanWhat attracted you to general practice?

The diversity of patients makes my day very interesting. It can vary from simple upper respiratory tract infections to the initial diagnosis of cancer or management of chronic illnesses.
It is rewarding to be able to make the diagnosis and follow up with the patient on a regular basis. It is equally rewarding to be learning on the job every day and having the flexibility to shape my career and improve my skill set. 

What has been your best moment as a general practitioner?

I enjoy seeing patients of all age groups, which provides variety and the opportunity to be a ‘jack-of-all-trades’! I love talking to my patients and being part of their ongoing care, which could span over many years and generations. 


What objectives do you have as a Council member?

As an RACGP Council member, I aim to:

  • offer support and voice concerns regarding issues surrounding general practice registrars and new Fellows training and education
  • improve collegiality among general practice registrars and New Fellows, and;
  • represent RACGP WA in ongoing professional development activities and help develop resources that would help deliver high-quality primary healthcare to Western Australians.
 What is one thing you have learnt that you think other GPs could benefit from?

Family medicine is a rewarding profession; nevertheless, it can also be an isolating specialty.
As GPs, we need to maintain a working and cordial relationship with colleagues within and outside the practice. That, to me, will enable opportunities to engage regularly in clinical and social gatherings, ensuring a good balance and reduce the impact of isolation. 

What is one thing no-one knows about you?

I enjoy dancing and I’m a trained classical Indian dancer.
 

Dr Sean Stevens, Immediate past Chair, RACGP WA

Dr Sean StevensWhat attracted you to general practice?

A love of variety, intellectual challenge and an enjoyment of long-term relationships with people of all different walks of life.

What has been your best moment as a general practitioner?

The many special moments of teaching and seeing your registrars mature and grow clinically. It is such a privilege to be involved in their development at such a critical stage of their career. 

What objectives do you have as a council member?

To improve the educational offerings to WA GPs. To improve the social interaction of WA GPs and to improve the standing of the RACGP in WA.


What is one thing you have learnt that you think other GPs could benefit from?

Whether it is doing the exams or sitting on council, get involved. You get far more out of being involved than it costs you and you meet some fantastic people.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

My wife and I first met when I was six weeks old and she was a newborn. Our parents were doctors and lived in the same block of flats over the road from Royal Perth Hospital and the old ‘Resident's quarters’. We then spent the next two years of our lives growing up together before parting ways for twenty years and eventually coming back together and getting married.


A/Prof Frank Jones, Provost

 

Dr Frank JonesWhat attracted you to general practice?

In general practice, I am attracted to the undifferentiated presentations. I like the challenge! General practice is a wonderful mix of science and the social sciences.

What has been your best moment as a general practitioner?

I have enjoyed many special moments as a GP, but being a true generalist with procedural skills, and having the ability to care for my patients within the community and in our local hospital...true continuity of care! It’s also special to be part of the community in which you practice.

What objectives do you have as a Council member?

Raising the profile of General Practice and the RACGP should be an objective of the faculty board. Countries with a strong primary care system have improved health outcomes and are cost efficient. The WA Board and Faculty must promote this message and ensure access and quality for all.

What’s one thing you have learnt that you think other GPs could benefit from?

My colleagues may benefit from the special gifts of General Practice: context and continuity.

What’s one thing no-one knows about you?

The one thing that many may not know about me…I play the Banjo (badly).
 

Dr Juan Stephen

 

Juan StephenWhat attracted you to general practice?

I have had an interest in pursuing general practice right from the commencement of medical school in 2017. My placements at various practices across the city of Perth have provided me with a wide range of experiences all of which have made me realise that the scope of medicine in general practice is whatever one wishes for it to be. There are opportunities to upskill in procedures or subspecialise in various domains. Through my Australian Defence Force sponsorship, I aim to combine my interests in aeromedical and aviation medicine with general practice to enable the pursuit of a unique career.

What has been your best moment as a general practitioner?

Long time to go before I become a GP. Hoping to apply for GP training this year so when that moment happens, I will be sure to let you know!


What objectives do you have as a Council member?

As a junior doctor, I am hoping to find ways to implement a metro equivalent of the PGPPP within the Midland area through St. John of God Midland Hospital. I am also looking forward to taking part in discussions with the various medical schools within the state to promote general practice to students right from the get-go. I found that as a student, general practice wasn't as well promoted as some of the other specialties. I hope to narrow that divide so that students think of general practice as their first option rather than a fallback.

What's one thing you have learnt that you think other GPs could benefit from?

I have a slightly different perspective on this. As a student, I loved being able to see patients on my own, formulate a list of differential diagnoses, management plan and then discussing it with my supervisor. I also enjoyed procedural skills implemented during minor skin excisions, suturing, toe-nail resections, etc. I believe this form of teaching was far more engaging and rewarding that just observing. I would ask that GPs who take on students to please use this format to help promote learning. I was a student with Lewis Mackinnon and Ramya Raman so I can confidently say I learnt from some of the very best!

What's one thing no-one knows about you?

I am an absolute soccer fiend. I enjoy playing soccer (time-permitting) 4-5 times per week. In my down time, when I am not looking after my 8 month old daughter, walking my dogs, taking my wife out to new restaurants, I love sitting on the couch to play FIFA. I am hoping my daughter follows in my footsteps (sports wise) despite my wife's protests.


Dr Damien Zilm

 

Dr Damien ZilmWhat attracted you to general practice?

I love the vast diversity of general practice. I have found rural practice to be enormously rewarding. I have really enjoyed the challenges and complexity of general practice and the faith our patients give us. Our patients want us to to the skill to care for the wholistic and to not need to travel vast distances if we can provide care for them locally. GP covers everything from the preparations for the beginning of life to the end of life and everything in between. 

What has been your best moment as a general practitioner?  

There have been too many to mention. Maybe I can answer this with what aspect of general practice, so I find most rewarding? This would be in providing excellent palliative care for a patient and their family. Palliative care is when a patient and their family need us most. We can’t alter the outcome; however we can walk the journey with the patient and their family. The provision of high-quality palliative care encompasses so many of the skills required to be a really good general practitioner

What objectives do you have as a Council member?

It is my way of giving back to the profession and helping to improve the outcomes for our of our communities

What’s one thing you have learnt that you think other GPs could benefit from? 

As GPs we all have special skills and interests. GP is the broadest of all the craft groups. Utilising our expertise in teams and with specialists where needed achieves the best outcomes for our patients. And, critically evaluating the outcomes of our work achieves the best results for our communities and the health system.

What’s one thing no-one knows about you?

I hate peas


Dr Brenda Murrison

 

Dr Brenda MurrisonWhat attracted you to general practice?

The variety of work involved

What has been your best moment as a general practitioner?

There have been many things I have been proud of along the way - what makes me most proud is seeing our IMG and registrar GPs achieve fellowship.

I am also very proud that Brecken Health Care Bunbury won practice of the year in 2016 and that Ellen Health won the award last year.

What objectives do you have as a Council member?

The RACGP is well placed to influence change. Change is more rapid due to the pandemic than it has been in the last 20 years in General Practice. Patient registration, big data, digitalisation, changing Medicare item numbers, telehealth and so on.

What’s one thing you have learnt that you think other GPs could benefit from? 

Start early and not everybody knows as much as you think they do.....

What’s one thing no-one knows about you? 

That would be a secret! My practice was named after my dog, Brecken.


Dr Peter Maguire

 

Dr Peter MaguireWhat attracted you to general practice?

Partly the variety and the ability to get to know patients over time. Also some inspirational role models during my student and prevocational time

What has been your best moment as a general practitioner?

There is too many to name!

What objectives do you have as a Council member?

Hopefully to contribute some corporate memory, having seen many changes and many initiatives in the past.

I think General Practice is struggling at the moment - not attractive to graduates, slipping backwards in financial relativity to others, and subject to all sorts of government meddling, most of which make things worse. I am keen to contribute to our College's efforts to reverse that.

What’s one thing you have learnt that you think other GPs could benefit from? 

There are lots, but I think my biggest lesson has been to pay attention to legal and financial aspects of your practice, even if you aren't an owner.  A lot of money can be lost and trouble caused by taking your eyes of those issues!

What’s one thing no-one knows about you?

I don’t think there is anything

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