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New rural GPs find 'friendship and respect' in RDN orientation workshop


15th April 2024
By Theo Clark
The second RDN New Rural GP Orientation workshop for 2024 took place at Sails Port Macquarie in the lead up to the Refresher Conference. The workshops are designed to support GPs in transition to rural general practice, and featured presentations on a range of topics including medico-legal issues, pathways to Fellowship, and Indigenous health.

The second RDN New Rural GP Orientation workshop for 2024 took place at Sails Port Macquarie in the lead up to the Refresher Conference. The workshops are designed to support GPs in transition to rural general practice, and featured presentations on a range of topics including medico-legal issues, pathways to Fellowship, and Indigenous health. 

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Dr Jan Orman of the Black Dog Institute was a facilitator for the New GP Orientation sessions, presenting on Mental Health and was delighted to be participating: “I love teaching at events like this, I find it exhilarating talking to doctors who are new to the Australian General Practice environment,” she said.  

“Not everything about our culture is written down in a book for people to learn... and that applies to urban culture, rural culture, Indigenous culture, multicultural culture – whatever the culture is you are working in, you need to be a part of it, knowing about the differences without judgment.” 

Amongst the new doctor participants was Dr Mahsa Abassi Hormozi, who brought herself out from Iran alone two months ago and is now just one month and ten days into practising in Australia. “When your patients find that you feel stressed, it is a very negative energy, and it has a bad effect on your patients so I think it’s very important to have best practice explained,” Dr Abassi Hormozi said after completing the workshop. “I think organising this group for helping GPs, it’s really important – it [achieves] a very amazing goal." 

Dr Abassi Hormozi is practising at nearby Taree and whilst she says her adjustment has been smoothed by very kind colleagues, she was grateful for the opportunity to mix with doctors experiencing similar challenges to her own. 

RDN Article Image CaptionsBorders (4).pngThis sentiment was shared by fellow Taree newcomer Dr Mounia Torche, who arrived from Algeria five years ago with no English, and has just commenced practising in Australia: “Honestly speaking, after starting just two months ago, when I joined this conference, I found many things I didn’t know before and clarified many questions in my head – it’s outstanding,” Dr Torche told RDN.  

“I am a person who likes face-to-face better than online, and this is interactive and you can ask a question, and you understand better… I really encourage [other international medical graduates] to join this kind of event because it will open their eyes on how they will practise every day – medical-legal things, women’s health, mental health and also about our future as GPs in Australia – especially the Fellowship, which was not clear to me… 

“The respect and friendship we have found here is something very surprising – we have friends now. We can consider this the beginning of our journey.” 

RDN Practice and Workforce Support Lead Kristy Seysener was delighted to welcome the latest group of new rural doctors to Port Macquarie, "As always our delegates made the most of building their networks and providing peer support to one another," she said. "Myself and my colleague Alannah from the Practice and Workforce Support team really enjoyed our time getting to know each of our delegates on a personal level, and the chance to build a relationship. We look forward to providing each of our doctors with ongoing support."

RDN conducts a number of NGPO workshops to support new rural doctors each year. The next event will take place in Parkes on 25 and 26 July. Watch for news of upcoming NGPOs and other events in our Monday Message news email.


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