Dr Rohana Wanasinghe
Narrabri, New South Wales
A Sri Lankan surgical fellowship led Rohana and his family to Caboolture Queensland for a required year of overseas experience. Rohana has since settled in Narrabri with his family who have thrived since the move. His advice to other doctors who have trained overseas, “spend time working in supported environments… it is important to firstly understand the health system, how referrals work and Medicare billing systems. Emergency skills are also really helpful”.
Dr Yousuf Ahmad
Working in Pakistan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Innisfail and now Sale in Victoria, Yousuf Ahmad has embraced life as a Rural Generalist, specialising in Anaesthetics, Obstetrics, General Practice and Medical Education. As a Rural Generalist having the ability to align your skill set with the unique needs of your community is important “I have upskilled in Palliative Care… cancer patients are in dire need of high quality care in rural areas”.
Dr Renee Cremen
“When you come to a place that hasn’t had continuity of care, you suddenly realise the difference that a permanent doctor can make. It was that difference that kept me in Babinda.” Dr Renee Cremen details just how varied her role as Rural Generalist in Far North Queensland is, “from scripts, immunisations, resuscitations, farming accidents and responding to emergency events such as cyclones”.
A/Prof David Campbell
Lakes Entrance, Victoria
With a wonderful career of specialised community care across Australia as well as contributing to the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, David Campbell is a testament to the rich and varied life of a Rural Generalist. “The work of the Rural Generalist is an opportunity to do things that are beyond your imagination.”
David supports the Rural Generalist Pathway, highlighting that better access to services in rural communities starts with an appropriately trained workforce.
Dr John Douyere
“The Pathway has built a more sustainable workforce in Queensland… patients are being cared for closer to home”. Rural Generalist John Douyere describes his commitment to his community as a special privilege, enjoying his connection to the community, the continuity of care provided and being there for people along their journey through life.
Dr Marlow Coates
Torres Straits, Far North Queensland
Rural Generalist Marlow Coates gives insight into the challenges and triumphs of working in the stunning Torres Straits region. He was inspired to pursue a career as a Rural Generalist because he saw “the gap in health outcomes across geographical boundaries.” Marlow is a part of a dedicated team that works in two hospitals, 21 primary health clinics and visits 14 remote communities which are accessible only by air.
Dr Cherelle Fitzclarence
Karratha, Western Australia
“Cherelle Fitzclarence’s career began in Perth as a GP and Clinical Lead for Western Australian Prisons. Now a Rural Generalist in Karratha, Cherelle shares her love of lifelong learning in her position and her ability to make a difference “I like identifying needs and system issues and then working to be part of the solution”.
Dr Graeme Fitzclarence
Karratha, Western Australia
Growing up in rural Western Australia, Graeme Fitzclarence had extraordinary role models that influenced his journey in becoming a Rural Generalist. “My family doctor where I grew up delivered multiple generations, over more than 50 years. He impacted the lives of so many hundreds of people in rural WA”. Now a Rural Generalist himself, Graeme enjoys the autonomy of his role and the satisfaction of providing health services that would otherwise require patients to travel long distances from home.
Dr Sally Banfield
Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Sally Banfield shares insights into her role as a Rural Generalist in Alice Springs and what keeps her motivated, “the community and patients face unbelievably complex problems… and the medicine is incredibly intellectually stimulating”. Sally enjoys the depth and variety her career as a Rural Generalist provides highlighting that “you are not locked into a particular job for your whole life. I can work part or full time, out bush, in town or in the hospital”
Dr Andrew Kirke
Kalgoorlie and Bunbury, Western Australia
Andrew Kirke attributes his ability to handle the range of work he sees to flexible problem solving, not just learning a protocol and repeating clinical management, “...you can use a lot of skills which are transferable across disciplines, to solve complex problems”. “Also contact with the human side of medicine, specialists tend to focus on the subject, but a generalist doctor focuses on the person”.