Dr Jaime Hurley
Meet Dr Jaime Hurley, our District Medical Education Coordinator – Darling Downs & West Moreton (ACRRM)
Dr Jaime Hurley, a GP with specialised skills in obstetrics, played an integral part in the reopening of maternity services in Beaudesert and is delighted to have seen more than 500 babies born in the local area since its reopening in 2014. A new mum herself, Jaime is also in the unique position to be able to work with her husband, Dr Mike Hurley, a GP with specialised skills in anaesthetics at Beaudesert Hospital.
“I decided on a career in medicine towards the end of high school,” says Dr Jaime Hurley. “For me, it was the ultimate combination of working with people and a love of the sciences.”
Starting a rural medical career
Jaime undertook her studies at Griffith University, accepting a Bonded Medical Place and agreeing to a return of service period in a district of workforce shortage for four years following completion of medical school.
“That encouraged me to move towards work as a rural GP,” she says. Jaime moved to Beaudesert as part of a plan to reintroduce birthing to Beaudesert Hospital, which occurred after several years of community and medical lobbying.
Establishing local pregnancy care
“There was a lot of support from the community, local doctors, advocacy groups and politicians to return procedural services. We reopened the maternity unit in early 2014, around the same time that the workforce changed to a rural generalist model.”
With more than 500 babies delivered at Beaudesert Hospital since the reopening, the community response has been positive. “Local women and their families are grateful for the option to have their pregnancy care closer to home.”
Pursuing a specialised skill
Having completed additional training to achieve her Advanced Diploma of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Jaime enjoys her role as a GP with specialised skills in obstetrics; her clinical work is currently shared between Beaudesert Hospital, and the Beaudesert Medical Centre.
“I look after people in all stages of their life and thoroughly enjoy the diversity that it brings. I particularly love the continuity of care that my job offers,” says Jaime. “I might meet a woman in the early stages of her pregnancy, be involved in her antenatal care at the hospital, her labour and birth, and finally see the family at the clinic with their newborn.”
“Women’s health is my area of interest,” adds Jaime. “I have completed additional training, but also as a female GP, female patients tend to gravitate my way. I like that and can connect well with those patients to provide care around sensitive issues.”
On being our Hospital Liaison Officer
Jaime has also commenced the role of Hospital Liaison Officer for GPTQ in 2016.
“The role is to support GP trainees in the hospital years of their training,” she says. “My vision is to improve the connectedness of our registrars with the training organisation as well as with each other. There is also an education component to the role.”
This year, says Jaime, she is conducting an education workshop program for trainees, covering topics relevant to general practice that the hospital environment may provide limited exposure to. These include dermatology, ophthalmology, ENT and women’s health. She hopes that the workshops will help improve registrar preparedness for community-based GP practice.
Working alongside great doctors
Jaime adds that she is grateful to have been mentored by Dr Michael Rice, a former President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland.
“He was one of my supervisors during training and is now my employer at Beaudesert Medical Centre. He is committed to the community of Beaudesert and was instrumental in the return of birthing services. I’ve been very fortunate to work with him.”
Combining medicine and family life
Jaime is also in the unique position to be able to work with her husband, Dr Mike Hurley, a GP with specialised skills in anaesthetics at Beaudesert Hospital. “We’ve been a great support for one another throughout our training years. Having someone who understands what you’re going through is a great advantage and it means we can truly appreciate each other’s ups and downs,” she says. “We work well together and have shared a few special moments including being the obstetrician-anaesthetist team to deliver babies in theatre by caesarean.”
Now that the couple have a new baby boy, Jaime is keen to sustain a good work-life balance. “I would love to maintain variety in the work that I do,” she says. “I would also like to develop my role as a medical educator. I really enjoy the opportunity to play a part in the training of our future GPs.”