After working in orthopaedics, spinal surgery, and trauma, Dr Tarek Shalabi made the switch to General Practice in 2019. Tarek shares what he loves most about being a GP and his role as a Medical Educator teaching to interns in hospital.
Why the move to General Practice?
Multiple reasons really. A big one was the flexibility it offers. In General Practice you are your own boss. You get to build the role into what you want it to be. I was also attracted to the idea that I could sub-specialise. I’ve found that my skills as a hospital doctor are in no way wasted—they have transferred really well into the work I am doing now. My orthopaedic training has been of great benefit in particular while I’ve developed my sub-specialty in skin medicine, giving me skills for things like performing skin grafts and flap surgery. I also love that I can tailor the care I give to my patients. I have control of the length of appointments and I can see a patient right through their journey for issues like a skin cancer.
Why did you choose to train with GPTQ?
I could see early on that GPTQ would be able to offer me the ideal environment in which to develop my skills as a GP. Having experienced other training programs through my specialist training I can say with conviction that GPTQ’s training is of an extremely high quality. This is the most supportive training environment I have been a part of.
How has GPTQ helped you find your niche?
By allowing me to lead my GP training journey. GPTQ has a flexible training structure and as a GP Registrar you are encouraged to identify your learning objectives and be heavily involved in planning your pathway. This approach allows registrars to be proactive and I believe that leads individuals to finding their perfect fit in General Practice.
What do you enjoy most about General Practice?
A lot of things. Being able to manage a patient’s care from beginning to end is very satisfying. Under supervision, I am the one diagnosing a melanoma, for example, and delivering the results to the patient, then taking it out and seeing them through recovery. This whole-of-care management of a patient is difficult to find in a lot of specialties. Teaching is another aspect I enjoy. Along with my practice work, I am also a GP Registrar Medical Educator delivering teaching to interns in hospital. This is something that has been very conclusive to my training. I love that I am giving value back to the profession by opening up interns to different perspectives of life in General Practice—my journey to General Practice certainly didn’t happen in a straight line.
Describe your practising week?
I work four days a week (Tuesday to Friday). Two to three of those are clinic days where I am delivering General Practice medicine and skin checks. One day a week I am performing procedures in the clinic. I also visit an aged care facility once a month to provide medical consults and skin checks, which allows me to branch out a little. And I spend one half-day a month teaching.
Check out our Adventure in GP eBook to learn more about what GPs love about working in general practice.