New Board member inspired by ‘unique position’

Morgan Liotta

5/12/2023 2:39:27 PM

Pay, leave and wellbeing are front of mind for the RACGP’s newly appointed Chair of GPs in Training.

Dr Bec Loveridge
Dr Bec Loveridge is passionate about advocating for junior doctors’ wellbeing. (Image supplied)

‘I got into general practice thanks to the inspiration of my own GP, who’s been looking after me my whole life.’
That is Dr Bec Loveridge, who now, as the RACGP’s new Chair of the GPs in Training Faculty, hopes to herself inspire the next generation of GPs while improving training and working conditions – something she is ‘very passionate’ about.
‘As Chair I’ll be guided by the faculty representatives to determine priorities and ensure the diverse views of GPs in training are represented,’ she told newsGP.
‘While in the role I hope to achieve advocacy successes regarding pay, leave and wellbeing. 
‘To me, this means there is no financial disincentive to enter general practice training, access to paid parental leave and improvement in processes around key wellbeing contact points, including placement allocation, exams, workplace disputes and remediation.’
The most recent Health of the Nation report highlights a number of challenges for the general practice workforce, particularly around wellbeing, declining job satisfaction and burnout. 
While Dr Loveridge agrees these are some of the biggest issues facing general practice, which is likely to exacerbated by the continued worsening of the general practice workforce shortage, GPs in training are in ‘a unique position’ to hold some solutions.
‘GPs in training have a lot to lose if solutions aren’t found, but we also have the power to change the trajectory of the profession,’ she said.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Dr Loveridge completed a Bachelor of Commerce, working briefly as an accountant before returning to university for a postgraduate in medicine. After graduating from the University of Melbourne’s Austin Clinical School, she worked there for her junior doctor years.
Currently, Dr Loveridge is a registrar on the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) in Portland, Gunditjmara Country, in the south-west region of Victoria at the local Aboriginal Medical Service Dhauwurd-Wurrung Elderly and Community Health.
What she enjoys most about her work perhaps stems from her own family GP being the one who inspired her to choose the same career.
‘I love working with my patients to improve their overall wellbeing,’ she said.
‘Psychosocial context impacts all areas of health, and GPs are best at understanding this.
‘We’re at the frontline of preventive care, helping people to stay well rather than fixing issues after they arise – which we also do on the daily.’
Dr Loveridge officially assumed her role on the RACGP Board following the 66th Annual General Meeting on 23 November, where previous Chair of GPs in Training, Dr Sean Black-Tiong, stepped down. She looks forward to being part of guiding the strategic direction of the college.
‘By listening to the voices of the future general practice workforce – including pre-vocational doctors and medical students – and continuing to support grassroots GP movements to affect Medicare and health systems reform, the Board can ensure a sustainable future for general practice,’ she said.
More information about the RACGP GP in Training Faculty and to become a member, is available on the RACGP website.
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