Dr Andrew Weissenberger
Meet Dr Andrew Weissenberger, our District Supervisor Liaison Officer for the Gold Coast
Dr Andrew Weissenberger, is Practice Principal and GP Supervisor at the Hope Island Medical Centre on the Gold Coast. For the past six months, he has also acted as the District Supervisor Liaison Officer – Gold Coast for GPTQ, supporting other GP Supervisors in his local area.
“At high school I was always interested in the sciences and I naturally gravitated towards medicine.”
Growing up in Brisbane, Andrew studied medicine at the University of Queensland and worked within hospitals for a number of years before undertaking locum work and deciding on a general practice career.
“I needed to experience medicine outside the four walls of the hospital,” he says. Through the Family Medicine Program, Andrew undertook training as a GP registrar within a solo practice on the Gold Coast. “I really liked the familiarity and family focus of the small practice where everyone knew each other. I decided to stay and that’s where I began my general practice journey,” says Andrew.
With an interest in older people and chronic disease management, the best thing about general practice, says Andrew, is getting to know his patients.
“It’s not just about treating acute events. You treat a person through their life journey,” he says. Andrew also likes the variety of medicine. “You never know what’s going to walk through the door next.”
A love of teaching registrars
Andrew also supervises GP registrars and he enjoys inspiring and developing his registrar’s love of general practice.
“A lot have come straight out of the hospital system and it’s nice to see them adapt and change to a different style of medicine,” he says. “They are used to acute episodic care,” he adds. “They don’t have much experience of the day-to-day long-term management of chronic conditions. I really enjoy teaching about that in general practice, and seeing students develop ongoing relationships with patients.”
Supporting GP supervisors
A District Supervisor Liaison Officer for GPTQ over the past six months, Andrew is expanding his teaching to include support for other GP Supervisors in the area, and he is currently organising a joint education meeting with registrars and supervisors together.
“It’s a good way for supervisors and registrars in our area to get to know each other,” he says. “I get inspired by passionate general practitioners,” he adds. “When I see an enthusiastic GP colleague that really helps me.”
Apart from clinical work at his practice, Andrew also conducts nursing home visits, is a surveyor for Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL) and is on the board of his local hospital in the Gold Coast.
“As a GP, I have input from a community and private health perspective into the strategic direction of our local health service. It’s good to have a GP voice there,” he says.
But, he insists it is not all about work. “I really like to travel. My patients are always saying, are you off again? I make sure I have my holidays. You have to look after yourself and your sanity.”