Dr Suha Tazami undertook her GP training in New England/Northwest, having previously worked with outreach programs in the Palestinian West Bank and Jordan Valley, she is now excited to be working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Why did you decide to become a GP?
Being a GP appealed to me because I get a real chance to be a generalist, I can do obstetrics and paediatrics and other areas of medicine.
I also liked the way the training works – there were family reasons, as I have a child and a husband who is a doctor as well.
What did you enjoy about rural GP training, and now as a rural GP?
I’ve worked overseas with rural communities in outreach programs, including to remote villages and nomads in the Jordan Valley. I enjoyed the work and found it very fulfilling.
Training in rural practice I learned a lot. I enjoy the fact that in rural general practice we have a wider scope of practice.
I really enjoy Armidale. I love the weather – the cold winters!
Despite the fact Armidale is considered rural it has a cosmopolitan feel, with the variety of people from ethnic backgrounds. Being part of a smaller community and being able to become part of the community is very special.
Tell us about your work in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.
I trained here for a year – I’m now a fully qualified GP and I was offered an extension to stay on.
I really enjoy, and admire, the comprehensive aspect of healthcare here. We try to provide everything on site, so we’ve got mental health programs, drug and alcohol programs, GP consultations, podiatry and dietitian consultations, and a dental clinic. There are a lot of services to utilise that will eventually help to close the gap.
It’s been really good to build trust with patients and to have my own clients.
I’ve already started some outreach community programs – we are working on school screening for kids, screening at PCYC programs like boxing, and other community sporting events. We take the opportunity to be there and offer health screening and other health promotions.
We can also now do hearing assessments ourselves, we have nurses and health workers who are fully trained to do that.
It’s all very exciting!