For Dr Caroline Ivey, staying in Wellington after completing her GP training was an obvious choice, and one year on, it’s a decision she doesn’t regret!
“I’m from England originally, but after working at Dubbo Base Hospital I fell in love with the Central West and the fantastic lifestyle that it offers,” she said.
“I was doing training in emergency medicine and general practice wasn’t a specialty I had considered pursuing, but I had the opportunity to try it and to my surprise I found that I just loved it.
“I started GP training and have never regretted it for a minute.
“My GP training was also very flexible I was able to fit it around family commitments including my three children.”
As part of her training, Dr Ivey trained at the Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service and stayed after achieving her fellowship.
“The service offers a very holistic patient-centred care model which is a really fantastic thing to be a part of.
“I love living in Wellington, I really enjoy being part of a community and being able to help the local community in all aspects of their health.
“I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” Dr Ivey said.
Local GP training organisation GP Synergy CEO, Georgina van de Water, said the local community plays an important role in helping doctors settle in and form important networks.
“GP registrars contribute significantly to primary healthcare provision in rural areas like Wellington,” Mrs van de Water said.
“Since 2002, more than 10,000 doctors have achieved fellowship through the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program nationally.
“To specialise as a GP, doctors spend three to four years in the AGPT program, training in accredited general practice and hospital training settings, with dedicated supervisors and regional medical education support and delivery.
“Over the many years that we have been training doctors to specialise as GPs in rural communities, the consistent feedback we receive is that they find rural training a rich and rewarding learning environment.
“As we have seen in the case of Dr Ivey, how local communities welcome and support GP registrars during their training and beyond can have a significant impact on their decision to stay once they reach their fellowship goals.”