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Meet GPTQ medical educator, Dr Brendan Triggs

Dr Brendan Triggs (featured image)

Brisbane GP Dr Brendan Triggs enjoys diagnosing and practising a variety of medicine.

“You get to know the end of the story with patients. You get to know the full details, from the first presentation to the disease process through to the end of the disease process.”

Studying medicine at The University of Queensland

Although Dr Brendan Triggs always had an interest in medicine, he began his career as an engineer. After three years working for an IT management consultancy, he decided to become a doctor. “With the hours I was working and the lack of personal interaction, I decided to go back and study medicine,” he says.

Brendan graduated from medicine at The University of Queensland. He enjoyed learning a range of medical specialties during his hospital rotations and decided to go into general practice because of the breadth it offers.

At the forefront of patient diagnosis as a GP

“I enjoy the variety of general practice,” Brendan says. “You never know what’s going to come through the door next. It’s one of the few specialties where you have ongoing follow-up with patients. You get to know the end of the story with patients. You get to know the full details, from the first presentation to the disease process through to the end of the disease process.”

Brendan also enjoys being able to make the diagnoses. He says: “General practice gives you the first opportunity to make a diagnosis of a patient, whereas in subspecialties the patient may have seen the GP first, or an emergency consultant first, and have had all the tests done and have the patient arrive. In general practice, you have the ability to do a little bit more clinical medicine and make diagnoses.”

Becoming a medical educator for GPTQ

For the past five years, Brendan has practised at Ipswich Road Medical Centre in Brisbane. In 2015, he started his role as a medical educator with GPTQ.

Brendan says the most rewarding aspect of teaching is the interaction with registrars, who he describes as “delightful and interesting people”.

“I enjoy the teaching process,” Brendan says. “I enjoy interaction with colleagues. In addition, I think teaching is one of the best ways of furthering your own education.”

Brendan has learnt from his peers throughout his career. “I’ve taken bits from lots of doctors. It’s one of the good things about general practice. There are lots of good role models, both within general practice and within specialties. I’ve had lots of good mentors.”

Matching medical interests with long-term lifestyle goals

Brendan’s advice to medical students and interns is to choose a specialty that suits the life you want. He says: “It’s certainly worth choosing the lifestyle you want to live and then having a look at specialties that fit into that lifestyle.”

“My advice would be to gain as much exposure to as many different specialties as you can while you’re a medical student, house officer or junior doctor,” he says. “Use that in decision-making about what you want to work in long-term. It applies equally to whether you’re going into GP or a specialty. The broader your knowledge, even if you’re working in a subspecialty area, the better the patient outcome. Seek as much exposure as you can to a broad area of medical practice.”

Brendan lives in Brisbane with his wife and four kids, all aged under seven. He is one of our medical educators assisting aspiring GPs in their doctor training within the Brisbane South District.

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