Dr Jackson Blythe is a proud Kamilaroi man living on Wiradjuri country as he undertakes his training to become a specialist GP with local GP training provider GP Synergy.
“I never dreamt as a kid that someone from my background could become a doctor, but with a lot of hard work it is achievable.
“I like to approach medicine holistically, including the health of communities and their environment, this is the way Indigenous people have understood health for thousands of years.
“I love working with people, not diseases, and general practice is the best way to do that,” Dr Blythe said.
He also has advice for the next generation who may be thinking of studying medicine.
“Make connections; find mentors in your community and reach out to people in the field to have a yarn about their journey.
“Studying medicine is a very long road and you need all the support you can get from your family and community.
“It’s an amazing, rewarding, and interesting career and we really need more Indigenous people from all different communities becoming doctors and applying those skills to help our people in both general practice and hospitals.
“When I complete my specialist training, I aim to live and work in remote communities providing general practice and emergency healthcare with a focus on the health of Aboriginal people,” he said.
GP Synergy’s CEO Mrs Georgina van de Water said the training provider is currently supporting 45 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors undertaking specialist GP training across NSW and ACT.
“Our Aboriginal Cultural Education Unit work closely with our medical education teams to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors are supported both culturally and educationally.
“We also work closely with the 33 Aboriginal Medical Services (AMSs) across NSW and ACT, accredited to deliver GP training,” Mrs van de Water said.
“We encourage all trainee GPs to consider training in an AMS.
“Training doctors in Aboriginal health is an important part of closing the gap in the health inequities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.
“Those doctors training in an Aboriginal health setting find the experience invaluable from a learning perspective and rewarding as the Aboriginal health model is one based on teamwork and being part of the community,” she said.
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Kerryn Stephens | Media and Communications Officer