01 August 2023

Mandeep (Mandy) Dosanjh (pictured right) has been a practice nurse for just six months, but she is already dedicated to her role at Walker Street General Practice, Bowral. Her ideal day is when she can conjure a smile on the faces of her elderly and youngest patients. Mandeep was drawn to nursing after hearing stories about her great grandmother who served as a nurse in World War II.

How long have you been a practice nurse and how long have you been working in the Wingecarribee LGA? 

I have been a practice nurse for six months and have been working in nursing for almost five years.

When/why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing and specifically in primary care? 

I decided from school age, as I used to see how nurses care for people so gently. I did a Diploma of Nursing in my home country and then advanced with a Bachelor Degree at Western Sydney University.

Tell us about the role of nurses in primary care

Day-to-day: I check on the care of our regular patients and make sure they are keeping on track with their lifestyle. If changes are needed, then I encourage them; childhood vaccinations and adding reminders to the system so they don’t forget their next one; wound care, both acute and chronic; COVID-19 vaccines; BMI checks; flu vaxes.

What do you love about nursing/what do you find most fulfilling about your role?

I love everything about nursing. It starts with caring for old people when they need our care and respect. I just love taking care of their wounds and the ageing process, to help them where needed to feel more independent without them realising that’s what I’m doing.

Tell me about your ideal workday

For me each day is ideal, but I can be more fulfilled by making both my elderly patients and the little ones finish with a smile on their face. I remember one day my patient felt so good after talking about his wife whom he had lost a couple of years before. I just listened to him sharing his memories with me, without focusing on my care plan completion.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

If at work, I love cleaning and stocking up to make it easy for all. If at home, I enjoy cleaning, listening to calm music and cooking.

Do you have any role models and why?

My great grandmother was a nurse and served in World War II. I used to hear stories from my mother, it created a picture of her and I started to like nursing. I wanted to be a good nurse like her.

How do you help educate your patients about maintaining good health?

Just to keep up the physical activities as much as they can tolerate, intake of good fibre and less sugar, listen to good news instead of negative, drink more water than sugary drinks, just keep moving and stay positive as much as possible.

04 July 2023

Dr Hanady Nasreddine, of The Women’s Heath Centre Southern Highlands, embraced general practice as it gave her the flexibility in lifestyle she wanted to successfully combine a career in medicine with a young family. She says it’s a privilege to help patients achieve the best possible outcomes, and she is particularly proud her practice provides a safe space and comprehensive healthcare for women.

How long have you been a GP and how long have you been practicing in the Wingecarribee LGA? 

I began working in the Wingecarribee in 2007 when I undertook my GPT1 term (general practice training term) in Moss Vale.

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

I decided pretty soon after graduating. General practice afforded me the flexibility in lifestyle I was yearning for after the challenges of shift work in hospital as a Junior Medical Officer with young children.

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

It is a real privilege to help patients, when they are often at their most vulnerable, to help them achieve best possible outcomes. I also learn a lot from patients and refine my own skills accordingly – whether it is a consult I reflect on and feel could have been conducted differently, or an area that I’d like to extend my knowledge in. No two days are ever the same!

Being able to assist one patient in leading a healthier life, to improve their wellbeing, or their function in their life also ensures I’m motivated to turn up to work every day.

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

The practice is a safe space providing trauma informed care by women for all women entering its doors. In addition to providing comprehensive healthcare for women, we are also an easily accessible centre for those women who see our amazing colleagues but have chosen to see us specifically for sexual and reproductive health or help with issues relating to their ‘women’s bits’.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Gardening, cooking and spending time with my wonderful family.

What do you love most about Mittagong?

The space, the wonderful people, less traffic, the Southern Highlands region!

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

Choose lifestyle measures which are sustainable – consistency is key.

05 June 2023

Practice nurse Miray Mater El-Ahmad has worked in the Bankstown LGA for a bit more than two years. As an eight-year-old, she vividly remembered nurses caring for her ill grandmother and supporting her mother and herself. Miray decided then that she wanted to give that care, support and love to others.

How long have you been a practice nurse and how long have you been working in the Bankstown LGA?

I’ve been working as a practice nurse in the Bankstown LGA for two years and three months. After I finished my bachelor’s degree in nursing at the Australian Catholic University, North Sydney, I worked as a new graduate at Liverpool Hospital.

When/Why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing and specifically in primary care?

In Year 12, I envisioned myself as a paediatric nurse while I was completing my design and technology project. I then made the decision to enrol in university and complete the Bachelor of Nursing. When my grandma was diagnosed with cancer when I was eight years old, I decided to also pursue this career because I have a vivid memory of nurses always being by her side, supporting her and my mother through difficult times. I wanted to give in return that care, support, empathy and love.

I find primary care much easier to learn and provide proper support to patients, unlike hospitals which are too fast paced, making it difficult to offer full attention to patients going through a difficult time.

Tell us about the role of nurses in primary care.

The role of a nurse in primary care is to assist the doctor in charge within their scope of practice.

My roles as a primary nurse includes blood tests, wound dressings, immunisations for all ages, ECGs, ordering vaccines, having responsibility with the vaccine refrigerator, triage nursing, vital signs, completing immunisation catch-up plans, and speaking to patients about their concerns, and providing support, empathy and comfort. I also complete CPD hours, complete vaccination record cards for healthcare workers and students, communicate, discuss and alert the doctor in charge about patient concerns. I’m involved in the PHN three-monthly model for improvement, and assist the doctor in emergencies and ISBAR handover to paramedics, checking the emergency trolley, documenting on a patient’s file and completing patient care plans.

What do you love about nursing / what do you find most fulfilling about your role?

I love nursing because it gives me gratification to support and help those in need. Seeing patients recovering is an achievement. When you make an acquaintance of your patients, the general practice becomes like a family. I treat everyone how I would like my family and loved ones to be treated when they require care and support. I love seeing a patient’s face light up when they see me, especially the elderly. It is such a privilege to have patients praising and thanking God for helping them recover.

What is your ideal work day?

My ideal workday is providing all patients with the best care possible, seeing patients recovering well and patients constantly showing their appreciation for the care I provide.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My hobbies include reading books, going to the gym, ice skating, bike riding, playing the piano, swimming, dancing, and arts and crafts.

Do you have any role models and why?

My role model is the doctor I work for. He is absolutely amazing with his patients, full of hope, encouragement, caring, empathy. He is professional, reliable, smart and patient. He is the reason I would like to study to become a nurse practitioner in the future. He does everything to the best of his ability to help his patients. I find him different to other doctors. Running a general practice with nearly 4,000 active patients is an inspiration.

How do you help educate your patients about maintaining good health?

I always inform patients how important it is to exercise and eat well. I conduct a physical activity assessment, discuss the results with the patient, and offer suggestions for diet and exercise to keep them active. I remind patients how important it is to maintain good health to reduce the likelihood of contracting new illnesses and the likelihood of already diagnosed illnesses becoming worse.

02 May 2023

Dr Alex (Yuebin) Zhao from Myhealth Oran Park medical centre was attracted to the opportunities general practice presented. He is pursuing his special interest in mental health by working with SWSPHN to promote the new IAR-DST (Initial Assessment and Referral Decision Support Tool).

 

How long have you been a GP and how long have you been practising in Oran Park/Camden?

I have been a GP for 18 months and been practising in Oran Park for three months now. I was working in Westmead Hospital and Canberra Hospital before becoming a GP.

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

I decided to become a GP about two to three years ago during my hospital training. I like the long-term relationship a GP can build up with their patient which is difficult to do in hospital settings. GP work also offers a great balance between work and life. These days, GPs can also sub-specialise in different areas from dermatology/skin cancer, mental health, women health, occupational health. There is so much more potential.

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

I enjoy the variety of presentations in GP clinics. You can never predict the next presentation. It can be anything from simple cuts/laceration, vaccination, respiratory tract infection, mental health consultation, travel advice, skin cancer checks, complicated chronic disease management. Work has never been boring for me!

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

My practice opens seven days a week and has 12 GPs. We also have onsite a psychologist, physiotherapist, podiatrist and dietician. We cover a very broad area of medicine including general GP consultations, immunisation, skin check, mental health, worker compensation, women’s health, antenatal care etc. I also do some after hours home visits for patients who are not able to see us in the clinic, one to two times a week. I believe our practice provides a good quality of service to the community and reduces the burden on the Emergency Department.

Please tell us about your work delivering IAR training

I have a special interest in mental health. I am currently working with SWSPHN to promote a new tool (IAR) developed for mental health assessment and referral. It facilitates assessment and referral processes for patients with mental health conditions. Please get in contact with your local PHN if you are a mental healthcare worker and would like to know about the IAR training.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to work out in the gym whenever I can and watch movies and dine out. Feel free to say hi if you catch me in the local gym/cinema or restaurants.

What do you love most about Oran Park/Camden?

It’s such a new and vibrant community. Patients here are very polite and respectful. 

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

I just want to emphasise that good mental health is an important part of general health. Anxiety and depression symptoms are significantly under diagnosed. If you do need extra support, do not hesitate to reach out to your family, friends, counsellors and doctors.

04 April 2023

Elise Janson, a practice nurse at Harrington Park Medical Centre, believes the experience of practice nursing really is what you make it.

She is passionate about caring for her patients and building relationships in her day-to-day role.

Her contribution to enhanced clinical outcomes for patients and effectively communicating with patients to educate them, is key to making her role as practice nurse worthwhile.

How long have you been a nurse and how long have you been working in South Western Sydney as a practice nurse?

I have been a practice nurse at Harrington Park Medical Practice for four years. 

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing/primary care?  

There are many benefits to becoming a practice nurse. I thoroughly enjoy the longevity of patients. We as a team go through highs and lows with patients and their families. The rapport and relationships built can be super rewarding. I personally chose this style of nursing as the impact I could make was beneficial in comparison to ward-style nursing.

What is your day-to-day role and how do you contribute to improving clinical outcomes? 

My day-to-day role does change day-to-day!

Sometimes, there are emergency situations or high intensity situations which require the practice nurse to triage, commence care and make decisions based on the patients’ needs and/or deterioration. Each day the ages of patients I see ranges from birth to elderly and everything in between. This often includes seeing babies, infants, teens, new mums and older people. The role includes immunisation, travel vaccines, triage, ECGs, infusions, wound care/management, assessments, recalls, women’s health – the list just goes on and on.

Practice nursing for me is what you make of it. I contribute to clinical outcomes by educating patients with their care needs, promoting safer scenarios for their overall health, applying complete transparency regarding their health, effectively communicating and ensuring my clinical competency is up-to-date with the latest literature.

What do you love about your role as a practice nurse? 

I love the lifestyle, the patients are rewarding, the staff is like a family. I especially love no shift work! We all enjoy working together, improving patient care and implementing new ways to ensure patient satisfaction. I mostly enjoy working autonomously and being trusted enough by the care team to be able to make decisions about my patients’ health, and to feel heard by the patients’ care team.

What is the biggest challenge of the role and how do you overcome this?  

The limited number of GPs, and appointments can be challenging. Overall, the health system does require an overhaul but by working as a team at Harrington Park Medical Centre we believe we combat this as best we can to ensure priority patients are seen.

How do you help educate your patients about maintaining good health?  

Building rapport through therapeutic communication. By getting to know your patients over a long time, you gain the ability to understand what strategies are required to effectively ensure their understanding of their health and what is required to apply the strategies.

Tell me about your ideal workday! 

My ideal workday is to ensure all patients leave feeling satisfactory with no poor results. Unfortunately, in practice nursing, upsetting outcomes of patient care can happen so an ideal day is when this does not occur.

The treats brought in my patients is a great scenario too!

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I enjoy my three kids and being social. Just the regular stuff, that we all enjoy doing. And once again, without the shift work being involved. My work family are also great people to have around and we ensure we enjoy each other outside of work as well.

27 February 2023

Baked goods from grateful patients is one of the perks of being a GP in Bowral, according to Highlands General Practice’s Dr Harshinie Jayamanna. Dr Jayamanna’s particular interests are paediatric and palliative care. She is also an accredited Antenatal Shared Care provider.

How long have you been a GP and how long have you been practising in the Southern Highlands/Bowral LGA?

I’ve been a GP for four-and-a-half years, and in the Southern Highlands for the same amount of time, including three-and-a-half years at Highlands General Practice in Bowral. I now also work at Schwarz Family Practice in Elderslie.

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

I had always wanted to do obstetrics and gynaecology, but changed to anaesthesiology, which I did for 13 years back home in Sri Lanka.

But when you see a patient in hospital, you’re always saying ‘follow up with your GP’ and you never see them again. GPs are able to provide more comprehensive care. The patients come to their GP, and you are able to coordinate their care. As a GP, you get to know the person and what’s happening around them, you see whole families.

I like antenatal care. I see mothers and babies for things like vaccinations. Many of my first patients are four years old now. It’s amazing to see.

Being a GP is so community focused, you make connections with people and feel like you are doing something positive for them, that you can save a life. I liked hospital work as well, but as a GP you provide broader care and look after the whole person,

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

Seeing patients getting better, especially children – you know when they’re better, they’re really better, they can’t pretend to be ill.

I like paediatrics most, I feel very comfortable looking after children and delivering things like vaccines. I also like to provide chronic care. I’d say my main interests are paediatrics and palliative care.

I also enjoy engaging with lots of different people.

Bowral is a very special community, everyone knows everyone. You link in well with the hospital and the specialists are very helpful – they are just one call away with advice if you are stuck with something.

I’ve been with Schwarz Family Practice since December and it’s also a lovely place to work.

The whole team is friendly and helpful, and it’s easy to work when everyone agrees with the current Australian recommendations, especially when it comes to prescribing medications (S8).

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

Chronic disease management is well co-ordinated at our practice. We have a special nurse specifically for chronic disease management. It’s very comprehensive, so we won’t miss anything.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to spend time with my children.

I like cooking and entertaining guests. I like reading, cycling with my children when with the weather permits, and I love to travel, not that I’ve done that during the last three years.

What do you love most about Southern Highlands/Bowral?

The area! The community is very friendly.

There’s an older population here, although that’s changing now because people are moving into rural areas like Bowral because of COVID and I’m getting to see lots of new families.

I especially like caring for the older population of Bowral, they’re really lovely and do things like baking for us all the time and sending cards.

I’ve found Schwartz to be a similar practice.

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

Eat healthy and exercise.

I say to young people, avoid dangerous, risky activities. Things like vaping. We have lots of young people coming in who don’t know how to stop.

I also say talk to your GP, especially about things like your mental health, we are always here to help.

14 February 2023

With a passion for working with our older population, Jessie Beresford from The Practice at Bundanoon is a hard-working practice nurse and clinic owner/manager. Establishing an ongoing relationship with her patients, Jess looks forward to engaging with patients to promote better health outcomes.

How long have you been a nurse and how long have you been working in South Western Sydney as a practice nurse? 

I graduated in 2011 from a Bachelor of Nursing and have been working as a registered nurse ever since!  I am currently studying a Diploma in Practice Management. I have worked in the hospital system as well as radiology, aged care, practice nursing, disability and governance. I have been working in South Western Sydney as a practice nurse since purchasing The Practice Bundanoon with my business partner in May 2022.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing/primary care?  

I had been working in management for over five years and I was ready for a new adventure and challenge. My business partner and I collaborated and decided we wanted to be able to extend our clinical knowledge and experience in our local community, hence why we purchased our own practice.

What is your day-to-day role and how do you contribute to improving clinical outcomes?

My day-to-day role is a combination of practice manager/business owner and practice nurse. The tasks at hand depend on the day. On Tuesday to Thursday most of my day involves face-to-face clinics. This includes home visits and visits for education to the local nursing home. Mondays and Fridays are business administration, including writing policies, protocols and education for our practice.

What do you love about your role as a practice nurse?

The main joy for me from my role in the practice is the therapeutic relationship you can achieve through a kind and informative clinical relationship. This enables and promotes trust and, in our experience, engages the patient to achieve a better health outcome, especially for chronic health management. It’s so great when we see patients achieving their health goals!

What is the biggest challenge of the role and how do you overcome this?

The biggest challenge is the lack of community support to assist aged care residents remain in the community or assist them into a residential aged care home or to remain in their own home with support. We live in a society where we have many older people who do not have the support network in their family unit due to many factors, including time restraints for relatives, family dynamics and not having children. This creates a gap for advocacy. In our practice we will go above and beyond to assist each patient access the assistance they need and/or entitled to, to enable them the quality of life they deserve.

Tell me about your ideal workday!

My ideal workday is going to our local café collecting a premade order of caffeine, a line-up of appointments and at the end of the day knowing you did the best you can to make a difference in that patient’s life in the moment they spent time with you.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My spare time is filled with the love of my family. I have an energetic two-year-old girl and a supportive husband who we married two months before we took over the practice. The other spare bits of time are filled with my beautiful horses, dogs and cat who are especially patient, and enable me to have the balanced life I dreamed of!

06 December 2022

Dr Nicole Hall from Wattle Grove Family Medical Practice is committed to helping women and their families during pregnancy and the first few years of the baby’s life through her work as a GP, a GP VMO at Liverpool Hospital in high-risk obstetric care, and as co-chair of the SWSPHN/SWSLHD Antenatal Shared Care Operations Group.

How long have you been a GP and how long have you been practising in Wattle Grove/ Liverpool LGA?

I received my GP Fellowship in 2015. I was an intern and resident at Bankstown and Campbelltown Hospitals, and did a significant part of my GP training here in Wattle Grove.

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

General practice was a natural career choice for me. Even during medical school I knew I would become a GP. I love the continuity of care, getting to know patients, and feeling as though you can make a big difference in their lives.

I also love the flexibility which comes with being a GP. There are so many possible career pathways, and I have been lucky enough to explore some of these as a GP Visiting Medical Officer in obstetrics at Liverpool Hospital.

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

I get the most job satisfaction looking after women during pregnancy, especially if they have had difficulty falling pregnant, and then looking after them during the first few years of their baby’s life. This can be a very challenging time and I love being able to help women and their families during this time. I have also been very lucky over the years to be involved with research for stillbirth which I have found very rewarding, namely being involved in the development and roll-out of the Safer Baby Bundle.

With the obesity rates in South Western Sydney climbing, I also love helping patients with weight management, and looking at the joy on their faces when they realise how much weight they have lost and how much better their blood pressure and blood parameters are.

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

Wattle Grove Family Medical Practice has been around for a number of years, founded by my colleague Dr John Stanford. It is a very well-respected practice and has been helping the local community for a number of years. In particular, we spend a lot of time with defence families, who often have difficulties with medical care as they move around so much.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have two young children, aged five and three, who keep me busy! I love gardening, cooking, and bush walking with my children and dog.  

What do you love most about Wattle Grove/ Liverpool LGA?

Wattle Grove is such a beautiful area to work in. We have a beautiful patient base. The patients are genuinely thankful for the care we provide to them. Working at Liverpool Hospital has also been very rewarding, being able to help a patient population of socio-economic disadvantage. Helping these women is extremely rewarding. 

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

Good health has many facets to it. This includes physical health, which can be obtained by regular exercise, but also participating in activities which people enjoy. There is also the mental health aspect, and it is so important to focus on the things in your life you appreciate – spending time with friends, spending time in the outdoors. It is also important to check in with your GP if you ever feel as though your health is not as good as it could be. COVID-19 has been a very challenging time for people, and I still feel as though we are seeing the ramifications of this.

 


 

This article appeared in Practice Pulse on Wednesday, 7 December 2022. If you are a GP, practice nurse or practice manager in South Western Sydney and do not get the weekly Practice Pulse email, speak to your Practice Support Officer.

21 November 2022

Practice nurse Kathy Davey has worked in the Macarthur area of South Western Sydney for more than 40 years as a nurse across a number of roles in practice and primary care. Read more about Kathy’s role in her practice, Camden Central Family Practice, and why she enjoys the work she does.

How long have you been a practice nurse and how long have you been working in South Western Sydney?

I have been working in the Macarthur area for the past 41 years. I grew up in Campbelltown, I left home at 17 and started a live-in nurses training course at Concord Repatriation Hospital.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing/primary care?

I started working at Camden Hospital in 1981, before the new Campbelltown Hospital was built. I have been consistently registered with AHPRA for 41 years.

Over the years I have worked in the operating theatre and surgical and medical nursing wards in the public and private system, and recently (12 years) in private practice. I became a practice nurse to get some work/life balance.

What do you love about nursing and being a practice nurse? What is the biggest challenge of the role?

Working with people is my passion and helping people improve their health is very rewarding. I have many patients who I regard as friends. This makes my job very easy. Time is always the enemy but I always try to fulfil my workload with the best care I can give.

How do you help educate your patients about maintaining good health?

Encouraging healthy eating and exercise, and maintaining regular medication compliance are part of my day-to-day duties, as well as dressing wounds and assisting the doctor with surgical procedures, which I enjoy.

Tell me about your ideal workday!

A good workday would be caring for some of my most delightful patients and making a difference in their lives.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My hobbies are sewing and also caring for my two beautiful granddaughters.

31 October 2022

Dr Karyn Ashley loves feeling like she’s making a difference and working in a team which supports each other. Dr Ashley, from Southern Medical Centre at Moss Vale, is also a South Western Sydney HealthPathways Senior Clinical Editor and says she hopes the work they do at HealthPathways helps local GPs navigate our medical system.

How long have you been a GP and how long have you been practising in Moss Vale/the Southern Highlands?

I finished my GP fellowship at the end of 2018 having done my training in Sydney and started working at Southern Medical Centre in Moss Vale in early 2019.

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

I knew throughout medical school my path would lead me toward being a GP. My only exposure to medicine had been through my own local GP while growing up in Armidale. Once I had seen the hospital system, I decided early on that the somewhat cutthroat nature of many specialities wasn’t for me. I signed up for GP training as an intern knowing the flexibility of training and long-term job prospects was ideal for me. I also knew I was more interested in general medicine than focusing on only a small aspect of medicine.

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

I love feeling like what I do is making a difference. Even in the smallest of ways. It might just be reassuring a new mother her baby’s skin rash is completely benign or dealing with the complexities of cognitively impaired patients living on their own with no family support to call on. What we do as a GP really matters. Specifically, I really enjoy antenatal care and paediatrics.

I am also very fortunate to work in a practice where we all support each other. We are all on the same page with our clinical practice, and we are aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I will often run cases past my colleagues as we all have different experiences or we may refer in-house to someone with more interest in that area, like antenatal care or skin excisions. We are also a teaching practice and always have several registrars and a medical student. This is a really important way to keep up-to-date as well as to give back to the next wave of GPs coming through.

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

The practice I am in was established by the practice principal’s father in 1964 and it has provided a high standard of medicine since then. We have patients coming in who were delivered as babies by the founding GP, with their babies being delivered by his son who took over the practice. Their children are now coming in pregnant themselves. It’s a great example of cross generational care.

Our practice is also very committed to looking after residents in the many nursing homes across the Southern Highlands. We try to ensure our registrars all gain experience in this area as, although it is not glamourous and in fact can be exhausting and frustrating, it is one of the most important places we can contribute to our community.

We also do a lot of drug and alcohol work which can be very complex but rewarding, and have a very strong diabetes and osteoporosis program.

There is a lot of media currently about the potential downfall of general practice due to poor federal funding and years of GP small businesses taking the financial hit to continue to provide high quality services. There also seems to be poor public and government awareness of what we actually do in general practice. The overall thought is it is a triage and referral service only.

We all know funding general practice is the most cost-effective way of keeping the population healthy and out of hospital. Despite this, government policies continue to miss the mark. At Southern Medical Centre we continue to strive to provide great care for those legitimately unable to afford it, while educating the remainder of our population about the need to contribute to their healthcare so we can continue to service our community.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My two primary school aged kids and husband keep me busy outside of work! But I am also lucky to be able to play trumpet in our local symphony orchestra and big band. I took up boxing just before COVID which I have found extremely enjoyable (therapeutic!) and have started crocheting small soft toys this year (which my children tend to steal prior to them making into my clinic office!).

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

I also work for South Western Sydney HealthPathways as the Senior Clinical Editor. I have been involved with Health Pathways for about three years and enjoy the change from clinical practice. I hope the work we do at HealthPathways helps our local GPs, especially when new to an area, to navigate our medical system.

What do you love most about Moss Vale/the Southern Highlands?

I like not having to commute! Having a backyard, fresh air and minimal traffic! I don’t mind I often run into my patients at the supermarket, at the gym or at school functions. Generally, everyone is quite respectful of work boundaries.

We have a fabulous group of GPs here as well as specialists and allied health and we all work really well together. It’s nice to know the specialists you refer to socially so it’s not just a name on paper.

We are also lucky we are close enough to Sydney we can do a day trip in for a fun family day. Patients are also not worried about travelling into the city for specialist care they can’t get locally. We are also close to Canberra and Wollongong, so have so many options.

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

I really try to focus on preventative care and education where possible. I like to empower my patients by educating them about simple home remedies for their ailments like heat packs, stretching, salt water gargles, honey for cough. I emphasise the importance of quality sleep, stress reduction, limiting alcohol, regular exercise within their capabilities, and eating less overly processed foods. We see a lot of people in our practice with chronic disease so often the focus is on preventing deterioration and working on stabilising their comorbidities. I spend a lot of time talking to people about movement and strength training to prevent or improve back and neck issues as a lot of our population are unable to see a physiotherapist.