07 February 2024

Dr Fiona Mackintosh, of Highlands General Practice Moss Vale, grew up in the Highlands and worked in Sydney for almost 20 years, specialising in women’s and children’s health, before returning to the Highlands about 12 years ago.

Her journey into medicine was sparked by seeing her sister undergo a brain operation at age four and a fascination with biology and science in high school.

She loves the practice scope of being in a regional area, being able to raise her children in “a beautiful area” and having family nearby.

Dr Mackintosh also advocates for long COVID, having had long COVID since February 2022.

When/why did you decide you wanted to be a GP?

I had always been fascinated by biology and science at high school. My sister had a brain operation when she was four years old, and I loved the atmosphere of the kid’s hospital – the staff, the patients, the whole thing. 

I was very interested in doing paediatrics but I also wanted a flexible job around childcare and family. I decided to change to general practice. And it suits me; I am a generalist.

What do you love most about being a GP/ what part of the job gives you the most satisfaction?

I love the variety. No day is ever the same. It is exciting, challenging and sometimes overwhelming, BUT never boring!

What is the most important thing you/your practice contributes to this community?

Living in a regional area means my practice here differs greatly from the city. We really do provide all ages and all-persons care. From pregnancy to aged care, home visits, Residential Aged Care Homes and after-hours. The GPs in my area provide an holistic and community-focused service.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have two kids, one in her last years at school. I love to read; I’m in two book clubs. My latest hobby is Tai Chi – so good for balance and relaxation. I attend a class in the park near Bradman Oval. So, refreshing on the cool Highland mornings.

Is there anything else you’d like to let your fellow primary carers know about you?

I have had long COVID since February 2022. It has left me very fatigued. I encourage all GPs to educate themselves about long COVID, as the number of people affected will keep increasing, and it will be more and more difficult to recognise and manage. We need to remain aware and compassionate.

What do you love most about Moss Vale?

Moss Vale is a beautiful area. The main street and park especially. Great coffee shops, restaurants and gift shops. A lovely mix of people. 

What advice do you give your patients about maintaining good health?

Good health is a balance. The key is exercising, eating healthily, sleeping well, maintaining good connections with your loved ones, community, and your GP.