I decided to train in an Aboriginal community controlled health service because I wanted to learn more about Aboriginal health as well as culture. I saw it as a great experience to learn more about managing chronic disease. After building relationships with my patients I found that I really enjoyed the work, so I decided to stay on for two more terms.
I feel like I can have more of an impact working in an Aboriginal medical service than I can at a mainstream practice. There is so much complexity in the health of some of my patients as well as plenty of undiagnosed conditions. I find it very rewarding since the changes you make can have such a large impact on your patient’s day-to-day life.
The life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians remains high. The goals set out by close the gap have not come close to being achieved. Training in Aboriginal health allows you to be a part of the solution and I think that is important.
My experience at the Aboriginal medical service has been very positive. The working hours have been very flexible and have given me lots of time to study for exams. I have had the opportunity to work in outreach clinics which is a change of environment and keeps me interested.
There are lots of activities outside of work. These have included a cooking contest, lawn bowls, education talks with visiting specialists that always includes dinner and drinks, and plenty more.