World Family Doctor Day

World Family Doctor Day

Today, May 19th, is World Family Doctor Day. This is the day when we general practitioners / family physicians / primary care doctors get to sit back, crack out the party poppers and pat ourselves on the back for the good work we do for our patients and communities. Here in Australia, we instinctively know … Continue reading

What Should We Teach Trainees?

What Should We Teach Trainees?

I’m in the very privileged position of having a small amount of influence in the delivery of general practice training in my part of the world. I’ve been involved in a number of thought-provoking discussions recently about what is essential education for trainees on their pathway to independent practice. I’m interested to find out from other recent graduates … Continue reading

Feeling at Home in Hedland

Feeling at Home in Hedland

When I told people that I was going to work in Port Hedland for a few weeks, the typical response was a wrinkled nose, a sympathetic murmur, or a well meaning warning … “you know it’s a bit of a shithole, right?” Admittedly, Hedland is not the most picturesque place in Australia. The landscape is stark; unfathomably long … Continue reading

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

I’m into my second year as a locum now and my search continues for the perfect country town to call home. After a fairly length break from clinical work, 2014 kicked off with a four week stint in the wild west town of Kalgoorlie. Kalgoorlie is an historic gold rush town, established alongside the “Golden Mile,” … Continue reading

Pure Gold – the SMACC Experience

Pure Gold – the SMACC Experience

There were fire twirlers and tribal drummers. Confetti rained down on khaki-clad heroes to the rapturous applause of a live audience. No, this wasn’t the epic grand-finale of a reality TV show. It was the opening ceremony of smaccGOLD, setting the scene for a conference unlike any other. SMACC stands for “social media and critical … Continue reading

A Granddaughter’s Grief

A Granddaughter’s Grief

We were not taken by surprise It was expected, really Every visit over recent years, treasured Knowing every goodbye might be the last The words of wisdom had been imparted The family stories told, wonderfully, many times over “It’s all yours now, Pen” he’d said, Christmas before last A handover of sorts He had had … Continue reading

The Accidental Writer

The Accidental Writer

On a hot day in February last year, I was sitting in my lounge room having a chinwag and a cuppa with a good friend of mine. I was confessing my anxiety about leaving my familiar life behind to become a nomadic rural locum. At some point in the conversation I said “Hey, I’m thinking about … Continue reading

Nurses, Orderlies, Blogs and Bonds

Nurses, Orderlies, Blogs and Bonds

Yesterday I opened my inbox and discovered perhaps one of the best emails I have ever received. The author was Professor Max Kamien, respected GP elder and local RACGP Corlis Fellow, who wrote to me after coming across one of my old self-entitled rants blog posts. His words were both humorous and wise, and I … Continue reading

The Bigger Picture of Patient Care

The Bigger Picture of Patient Care

I jumped in a taxi this evening outside Kalgoorlie airport and asked the driver to take me to the GP surgery where I’m working for a few weeks. His eyes lit up, “OH! Are you a doctor?!” I said that I was. He then proceeded to tell me a story about my recently retired predecessor … Continue reading

The One Year Locumversary!

The One Year Locumversary!

I can hardly believe that it’s been a whole year since I first embarked upon the nomadic life of a locum. In the last twelve months I’ve worked in 9 different towns spread across 3 different states; north, south, hot, cold, coastal, inland, big and small. I’ve worked in GP practices, birth suites, emergency departments, aeroplanes, … Continue reading