Dr Ghazal Ghodosi
Meet Dr Ghazal Ghodosi, our Rural Registrar Liaison Officer
Dr Ghazal Ghodosi is a rural GP Registrar who splits her time between GP duties at Murgon Family Medical Practice and working at both Cherbourg and Murgon hospitals. She’s currently in her final year of training towards her fellowship with ACRRM.
“Medical education keeps me abreast of everything that’s going on in medicine. Having the responsibility to teach other people pushes me to stay current, and do better in my every day practice too.”
Moving to Australia at a young age
Ghazal was born in Tehran, Iran and migrated to Australia at the age of three.
“Dad was doing a degree in computer science at Tehran University. He received a scholarship to come to Australia to finish his studies and we all came with him. As Australia is such a fantastic country with so much opportunity, my parents decided to stay,” she says.
An early interest in medicine
Ghazal’s first memories of medicine came when she was just six years of age thanks to a close friend.
“We were living in Wollongong at the time and had a family friend who was a GP. He had a home office and as I had quite bad childhood asthma, I was there a lot. It was so interesting interacting with him and seeing the joy he had in helping people,” she says. “But I’ve also always had a strong fascination with the human body and that was the main thing that triggered me into pursuing medicine.”
Hitting the books
After her family moved from Wollongong to Townsville, Ghazal completed her high school education and applied for medicine, but didn’t get in the first time. She instead began a pharmacy degree at James Cook University, but still had a ‘burning passion to do medicine.’ After completing her pharmacy degree, she applied for medicine again and was successful at the same university.
“I worked as a pharmacist while I studied medicine. I actually think it would be fantastic for everyone in medicine to do a combined medicine and pharmacy course because the knowledge you gain is astounding. As a GP, it’s very beneficial to know about the intricacies of the medicines you prescribe.”
Choosing general practice
During her hospital years, Ghazal quickly discovered she liked just about every rotation she undertook, with a special penchant for working in critical care after doing advanced skills training in emergency medicine in Mount Isa.
When it came time to choose a specialty, she says she naturally ‘fell’ into GP work.
“General practice is not the same thing every day, as patients all have different issues, illnesses or chronic diseases. And that’s the same with the emergency medicine. But the added benefit of general practice is you get the chance to build a rapport with patients over time and hopefully, make a positive difference for them,” she says.
“My husband was born in Wondai and his family have cattle properties around Goomeri and the South Burnett region, so I moved here to do the rest of my ACRRM training. I really enjoy rural practice because you have to heavily rely on your clinical judgment. You don’t have the luxury of having a lab, CT scan or specialist right next door so you need to think outside the box,” she says.
While she says there’s always the option of ‘calling up specialists’, she loves being able to use all the clinical skills and theoretical knowledge she ‘had drilled into’ her over the many years of training. She feels it makes her a better all-round clinician.
Turning her hand to medical education
Ghazal has recently taken on the Rural Registrar Liaison Officer role at GPTQ and sees it as a great way to help shape the future of upcoming GPs. But she’s been involved in medical education from early in her career, starting with her time in Mount Isa during her ED advanced skills training.
“I took on the Principal House Officer role so I had many medical students and junior doctors asking questions and advice about particular cases. Then I started doing some simulation training with ‘sim man’, teaching junior staff and nursing staff what to do in life threatening medical emergency situations,” she says.
She found it to be rewarding in two key ways.
“I loved seeing the satisfaction on their faces when they went through a difficult case and managed it well. I also enjoy passing on tips I’ve gained while working because I think, ‘Gosh, if only I’d known that a few years earlier that would have been so helpful’,” she says.
“The other benefit of medical education is it keeps me abreast of everything that’s going on in medicine. Having the responsibility to teach other people pushes me to stay current, and do better in my every day practice too.”
“Outside of my paid role, I’ve become an advanced life support instructor. I may look at being a medical officer for sporting events like motocross. I might also do a bit of locum work next year because I know rural places are so under-staffed and under-resourced. I know exactly how that feels when you’re a bit short and you wish you had a locum!”
She also has plans to settle down with her Brisbane-based husband.
“I eventually want to be able to live with my husband because we’ve been doing long distance for eight years,” she says. “But I’d like to stay in the Murgon area for at least another year, finish off my training, get my fellowship and then do a bit more thinking about exactly where I want to end up.”