Fellowed GP, Dr Demitri Perera works at Goolburri Aboriginal Health in Toowoomba and is passionate about his contribution to his local community. Demitri shares his love of General Practice and the flexible lifestyle it offers.
Why General Practice?
The breadth and variety General Practice offers was a big draw card—I liked the idea that I wouldn’t be limited to practising in just one specific area of medicine. Being able to treat patients from newborns right through to end of life and have continuity of care with a patient, where we build the doctor-patient relationship over time is fulfilling. The flexible lifestyle was another plus. You really can mould the job into being whatever you want it to be. For me it was important to be able to stay involved in Latin ballroom dance, through teaching. I teach classes a few nights a week after work and on my day off.
Why did you choose to train with GPTQ?
It really came down to my familiarity with South East Queensland and a desire to stay living and working in this part of Australia as a GP. I studied medicine at the University of Queensland and my junior doctor years were mostly done locally. I love it here.
How has GPTQ helped you explore different areas of General Practice in order to find your niche?
The mentorship and guidance I received from GPTQ’s Medical Educators was invaluable. In our meet ups to discuss my training they really encouraged me to explore a range of opportunities available and this helped me discover what I liked and what I was good at.
What do you enjoy most about working in Indigenous Health?
I’m passionate about ensuring that Indigenous patients have access to medical care that truly meets their needs: care which is culturally sensitive and can support improved long-term health outcomes. I feel like I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to be working in this field. It requires you to think differently to how you would if you were working in mainstream practice—there are lots of layers to consider and you need to be cognisant of the barriers that still exist for Indigenous Australians when it comes to their health. Seeing positive outcomes from the work you do is extremely fulfilling.
And in rural General Practice?
I like the close-knit feeling of working in a slightly smaller regional centre. Toowoomba isn’t so big that it feels like a large metropolitan city but it’s big enough that there are a lot of surrounding rural communities who come here for treatment, so there is still a rural slant to the medicine. It makes you develop strong relationships with other local healthcare providers and you get to develop ongoing doctor-patient relationships that allow you to offer good continuity of care.
Describe your practising week?
I work four days a week (Monday Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) at Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Company Limited in Toowoomba. I teach Latin Ballroom classes a few nights a week after work and on my day off on Wednesdays. Once a month members of our practice team also travel to towns in the Darling Downs region to deliver outreach medical clinics.
Check out our Adventure in General Practice eBook to learn about how a career in general practice can open up a life of endless possibilities.