GPs react to World Family Doctor Day

Matt Woodley

20/05/2019 3:37:49 PM

The RACGP Practice Owners Conference provided an ideal setting for GPs to reflect on what it means to be a family doctor.

Australian GPs reflect on World Family Doctor Day.
GPs from across Australia have reflected on what it means to be a family doctor.

The annual commemorative day, promoted by the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA), aims to highlight the role and contribution of primary care physicians in healthcare systems around the world.
With hundreds of Australia’s best family doctors convened in the one location, the RACGP took the opportunity to find out what motivated them to become general practitioners.
The theme for this year’s World Family Doctor Day (WFDD), ‘Family doctors – caring for you for the whole of your life’, emphasised the lifelong care many GPs provide to patients, from the management of children to palliative and end-of-life care.
According to RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon, this aspect of primary care is one of the main features that attracted him to becoming a GP.
‘I love seeing my patients and I love the respect patients give me by coming to see me,’ he said.
‘I’ve lived through the whole of their lives, from having babies to unfortunately dying, but it’s all that care.
‘And one of the greatest things about general practice is you get to see people in all their states.’
This was a common sentiment among attendees at the Practice Owners Conference, as was the variety and excitement that the profession affords.
‘There is no discipline more interesting than general practice. When you walk in in the morning you don’t know what you are going to come across,’ Western Australian GP Dr James Aniyi explained.
‘It’s not like this narrow speciality where you only know one thing and not others – you are actually looking at people holistically … a person from head to toe, including the environment and anything that can impact their health.’
Other commonly listed benefits of being a family doctor included the ability to build relationships with patients, job flexibility, and the chance to have a direct, positive impact on the community.
More GP reactions
‘I really love variety. Who doesn’t? I wouldn’t like to eat one meal every day, day in day out, so for that reason I chose general practice.’
– Dr Deb Sambo, Queensland
‘General practice is about having conversations with people, it’s about building relationships, and about having continuous care [and] helping people at the coalface. It’s an exciting place to be.’
– Dr Nathan Pinskier, Victoria
‘I chose my career in general practice because I really love people … [and] I love having the flexibility to be able to go see my kids play rugby or play the piano. I can take a couple of hours off, do that, and then come back to general practice.’
– Dr Maria Boulton, Queensland
‘The connection with the community, and basically the relationship you develop with your patients, is what drove me towards general practice.’
– Dr Myles Sutton, Victoria
‘General practice is a wonderful career. You see people from all ages throughout their lives and you have an opportunity to make a massive difference.’
– Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, Victoria
‘I chose to be a GP and have a practice because … when I was little I was caring for my kid brother who was a toddler, and he sort of crawled out of my lap and was playing around and mistakenly inserted two of his fingers into a big grinding machine. I felt so bad – I felt I was the cause for him losing two fingers and I promised him I’m going to be a GP so I could maybe give him two new fingers.’
– Dr Anuoluwa Oladipo, Western Australia
‘I really value the interaction that we have and I love meeting them on a more personal level over the years. Every day is completely different and it’s challenging sometimes, on an intellectual level, and sometime on an emotional level, but it keeps the job really interesting.’
– Fiona Raciti, Queensland

RACGP Practice Owners Conference World Family Doctor Day World Organization of Family Doctors

newsGP weekly poll What areas of healthcare were you hoping would get more funding in this year's Federal Budget?

newsGP weekly poll What areas of healthcare were you hoping would get more funding in this year's Federal Budget?



Login to comment