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RDN hosts orientation for eleven GPs new to rural NSW practice

1st September 2023
Eleven GPs who are new to rural NSW practice, including Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs), attended a two-day New Rural GP Orientation (NGPO) Program in Tamworth last week hosted by NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN).

Eleven GPs who are new to rural NSW practice attended a two-day New Rural GP Orientation (NGPO) Program in Tamworth last week hosted by NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN). The group included Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) from Russia, Nepal, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, the Philippines, South Africa and Hong Kong.
Introduction to rural general practice is considered valuable preparation for transition into rural NSW medical practice and RDN seeks to support GPs in delivering high-quality medical services to rural NSW communities.

The GPs received an overview of general practice in rural NSW including navigating Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, cultural awareness, accessing GP support, pathways to Fellowship, professional and ethical responsibilities and more.

MicrosoftTeams-image (11)The GPs also received a social orientation, exploring ways to achieve work/life balance as well as a clinical orientation which included an introduction to sexual health/family planning, mental health, Indigenous health, identifying and working with Aboriginal people in a culturally safe and appropriate way and managing workplace illness or injury cases.

The two-day program commenced at the Powerhouse Hotel, with Tamworth-based Dr Lauren Cone from the University of Newcastle leading the first presentation.

"Today, we've got a group of doctors who are experienced doctors, but are starting in rural general practice for the first time," Dr Cone told The Northern Daily Leader.

"So we have put together a program that goes through some different aspects of what it's like to be a GP in rural Australia.

"This is to help prepare them to practice in a way that is safe and enjoyable, and hopefully it means they can stay in our rural communities for the long term."

South African trained Dr Herman Kruger arrived about two weeks ago to work as a GP in Inverell, and follow a passion for family medicine.

"I still love my homeland but what this place can offer is unbelievable," Dr Kruger said.

"We just want to contribute or feel that we actually live a life where we can use our talents for the benefit of other people; that's what medicine is about.

"And I think Australia can give us that as rural practitioners."

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