GP On Her Way to Fellowship

By Juleen Perry| Published 25 January 2021

Dr Poonam is enjoying her new permanent role in rural South Australia.

Working as a GP in India before her move to Australia, Dr Poonam chose to work in a hospital setting to help familiarize herself with the Australian healthcare system before pursuing her Australian GP career.

Dr Poonam was a Hospital Medical Officer in Melbourne for two years when she spoke with Cornerstone’s Senior Consultant Tiera. Her main goal was to transition into a permanent role in General Practice and she wanted a practice where she was well supported.

“The role I found for Dr Poonam ticked all the boxes as she does hospital rotations in the morning and then goes into the practice and it’s all within close proximity to Adelaide. I tried to make the process easier by helping her to apply for her 3GA training programs in order to eventually gain her fellowship” Tiera explained.

She has now begun her More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP) placement in Port Pirie, South Australia. She specifically chose rural South Australia because of the many options and extensive support programs available to International Medical Graduates (IMGs).

“Moving to the country, I live alone here, and that’s a big challenge for me now. COVID has probably caused more damage than I imagined, as my husband is stuck in India and I cannot visit my sister and her family in Melbourne due to inter-state border restrictions. But Port Pirie has been fantastic and the community has been very welcoming. My doctors and my admin staff are an excellent team, they’re very supportive and are always there for me. And it’s a very small community and almost everybody knows each other.”

Poonam admits that while the initial few weeks were a roller coaster ride, she loves her job.

“I love working as a GP in country SA because of the variety of cases I see here. You need to know every condition, including emergency skills as well. There’s a lot of interesting cases that I see here. And one thing that I can say, if you work in a rural practice you can pass your fellowship easily.”

While taking the responsibilities and challenges in her stride, Poonam has found the support from the community and her new practice invaluable.

Sections of this article were reproduced with permission from training provider Rural Doctors Workforce Agency.

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