Dr Rebecca Lock
Meet GPTQ’s Acting Director of Education, Dr Rebecca Lock
Dr Rebecca Lock was born in Brisbane and grew up on the Gold Coast. She graduated in 2001 and commenced her general practice at Pomona Doctors Surgery on the Sunshine Coast in 2004. After thirteen years at the same surgery in Cooroy, Rebecca moved to Stonewall Medical Centre in 2018.
“I started an arts degree at uni. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I did a basic biology and biochemistry subject and I quite enjoyed them. When I got to my honours year in biochemistry, I realised that I didn’t enjoy being in a lab. I thought about what I ultimately wanted and medicine fitted with that. That’s when I applied for post-graduate medicine at The University of Queensland.”
Drawn towards general practice
“I wanted to have a specialty where I got to cover a wide range of things and do a little bit of everything. The idea of seeing people over the course of their life and having that continuity of care was really attractive to me. That led me towards general practice.”
Rebecca says she fell into the position of Medical Educator. “I always enjoyed general practice training and the group sessions we did,” she says. “A colleague was leaving the area and asked me if I’d like to do medical education work. I jumped at the opportunity.”
Helping GP registrars navigate training
The shift to Associate Director Medical Education has been an easy one for Rebecca. “Education has always been a large part of my career.”
Rebecca now coordinates our Gold Coast District and continues to support registrars through their journey to fellowship. “Seeing the evolution in people over time is really satisfying, and making sure they are practising good-quality medicine is very important. Being a part of medical education is what I can do to help foster quality general practice.”
Rebecca has continued examining for RACGP as a QA (Quality Assurance) Examiner. “I train and assess other examiners to ensure appropriate standards are being maintained. What I have found really exciting is that several ex-registrars I have trained are now examiners. It’s really great to see the cycle completing and these new fellows now having enough experience to come on as examiners and give back to the profession,” she says.
The importance of mentoring
“I have long thought that my fellow Medical Educators are “my tribe” so supporting them through GPTQ is a great privilege and brings me joy.”
Rebecca is involved with other members of the education executive in planning and implementing the professional development that Medical Educators undertake each year. “I also see this role as encouraging educators to stretch themselves by presenting at conferences across the country, developing skills as ECT visitors and training advisors, and providing feedback to the educators in this capacity,” she says.
Mentoring for Rebecca is also about noticing in others where their strengths lie and offering support in the development of those strengths. “It is about having an empathic ear to bounce an idea off or to be a non-judgemental advisor in a difficult situation.”
Supporting ADF registrars achieve their goals
Supporting ADF registrars is a vital part of Rebecca’s role at GPTQ. “ADF registrars face several challenges not encountered by other registrars. They need to balance their military commitments with their training commitments and this often means that civilian GP placements are interrupted, and training locations may alter at short notice over the course of the registrar experience.”
“ADF registrars also have the potential to experience deployment overseas and take part in exercises within Australia as well as be exposed to a greater depth of emergency skills training, Aboriginal health, occupational health and sports medicine.”
The opportunity to pursue personal medical interests
Rebecca currently practises as a GP at the Stonewall Medical Centre. “The medicine is interesting and complex,” she says. “Special patient groups such as HIV medicine and transgender health as well as many facets of sexual health and complex mental health are addressed at the clinic.”
Her role has stretched her into new interest areas of HIV medicine (becoming an s100 prescriber) and standards of care for transgender medicine. “It captures the diversity that a career in general practice can offer and reminds me that meeting community needs and seeking additional education and training to meet these needs is the cornerstone of high-quality primary care in Australia.”
Rebecca says she is privileged to work alongside the owner of Stonewall Medical Centre, Dr Wendell Rosevear, who has actively worked to ensure the clinic is a non-judgemental space treating patients respectfully and without prejudice. “I am privileged to see people who are particularly vulnerable and may not seek healthcare otherwise.”
Working as a GP in rural Queensland
Rebecca lived and worked at Cooroy in the Sunshine Coast hinterland for thirteen years. She enjoyed the rural feel of living in a small town.
“You would know who’s related to who. When someone would come in with a problem, you could see the impact that’s going to happen within the circle of that person’s influence. Likewise, you would get the opportunity to do a few things that perhaps you wouldn’t in the city.”
At the same time, Rebecca was grateful for hospitals and allied services being close at hand. “I was in a well-supported position.
Rebecca also supported rural fellowship registrars particularly training advice at induction, AST and ARST.