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In her third year as a GP Registrar working at Condamine Medical Centre and Warwick Base Hospital, Dr Jessica Hockey is passionate about rural practice. Here Jessica shares her journey to General Practice and what she loves most about her work.

Why General Practice?

As a medical student and resident, I fell in love with parts of every clinical rotation I did. Some specialties were easy to rule out due to years of unaccredited training or fairly limited consultant job prospects, while others had some indoctrinated cultural components I didn’t like. My biggest worry though, was that each time I considered a specialty I’d start thinking about all the things I’d miss out on that I had enjoyed in other specialties if I chose it. I knew I’d found my calling after a clinical rotation at Dalby Hospital. I was blown away by my time there and the challenge of providing diverse care in a rural environment. I was also humbled by the compassion and humility I saw the staff incorporate into their care for patients. That’s when I knew rural General Practice would be my specialty.

Why did you choose to train with GPTQ?

My selection mostly came down to geography. I’d experienced some great rural and regional rotations during my medical student training and knew I wanted to pursue rural General Practice training in South East Queensland, so GPTQ was the obvious choice.

How has GPTQ helped you to find your niche?

I was set on becoming a Rural Generalist from the outset, but I would say that I have been really lucky with the GPTQ Medical Educators and mentors who have been there to guide me through my training. Getting their perspectives on General Practice and learning through their experiences, as well as my own, has been invaluable. This has also reinforced for me just how malleable a career in General Practice can be. I can see now that it is a job that can grow and change with me. I love that GPTQ’s medical education team is made up of GPs who are passionate about passing on their knowledge and skills. It is inspiring and makes me think I would like to contribute to GP education at some point in the future.

What do you enjoy most about working in rural General Practice?

I love every aspect of the job. Each day is different and the medicine is varied. I feel a tangible connection to the value of my work and the role I play in the community. Rural Generalism feels particularly special to me because, although there will always be a need for the occasional specialist trip, as part of a small team of Rural Generalists you can provide excellent foundational care without the need for a patient to travel outside their local community.

Describe your practising week…

My work rotates weekly between the practice (Condamine Medical Centre) and the hospital (Warwick Base Hospital). I spend a week based at the practice and then the following week I will be in the hospital where I might have a day in Anaesthetics, a day in the wards, and a few days in the Emergency Department.

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.