Meet GPTQ Medical Educator, Dr Rebecca Lock
A GP for close to two decades, Rebecca has also enjoyed a long career in medical education, helping ADF registrars as well as those who training rurally.
“I wanted 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.”
A passion for medical education
Rebecca says medical education ‘has always been a large part’ of her career.
“I always enjoyed general practice training and the group sessions we did. A colleague was leaving the area and asked me if I’d like to do medical education work. I jumped at the opportunity.”
She enjoys multiple things about the role.
“Seeing the evolution in registrars 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.”
“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’ve 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.
Helping ADF registrars
Rebecca’s current GPTQ role is to support ADF registrars as they train towards fellowship.
“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,” she says.
“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, and feels privileged to see patients who are particularly vulnerable and may not seek healthcare otherwise.
“The medicine is interesting and complex. 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,” she says.
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. It also 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 fortunate 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.
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 feeling 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 it would have 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, saying she was ‘in a well-supported position’.
Rebecca also supported rural fellowship registrars, offering training advice at induction and in relation to Advanced Specialised Training and Advanced Rural Skills Training.