Why choose general practice?
Because GPs love what they do.
Recent Australian figures show nine out of ten GPs are either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their work (1), and the aspects of the job they love the most include:
- freedom to choose their own method of working and physical working conditions
- opportunities to use their abilities; and,
- variety in their work.
GPs can take their career anywhere, from the city to the country…imagine life as a doctor working with refugee communities in Brisbane, or in a progressive urban practice specialising in sexual health and mental well-being; on an island in the Great Barrier Reef or in a bustling regional centre like Toowoomba; maybe at the heart of a picturesque rural town, such as Goondiwindi or Blackbutt. The possibilities are endless.
Pursue a special interest
GPs are able to incorporate sub-specialty skills into their practice by pursuing an interest in a broad range of areas. These include paediatrics, anaesthesia, emergency medicine, and obstetrics; with training that is undertaken in both community practice and hospital settings. All GP registrars have the opportunity to pursue a sub-specialty of their choice.
Tailor your workload
GPs can decide where they work and what hours, giving them the ability to ‘tailor’ their workload to suit their particular stage of life or career aspirations. This could mean working two-three days a week in a practice, spending one conducting outpatient clinics at a nearby hospital and another working with refugee patients. Another example might be spending two days in a practice, one working specifically in Indigenous Health at an Aboriginal Medical Service and another teaching medical students. The flexibility of a GP career also allows more time for family, friends and travel.
Never get bored
The diversity of patients and medical presentations in general practice consistently rates as one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job. Every day a GP needs to use their breadth of knowledge to problem solve and provide patients with holistic, continuity of care. While doing this they are building long-term relationships with patients and often treating whole families over their lifespan. Established GPs also derive great value from ‘giving back’ through teaching as GP supervisors and as medical educators by overseeing the training of future GPs.
A career in general practice can open up a life of endless possibilities…you really can ‘choose your own adventure’ when you become a GP!
Learn about a career in general practice
- University of Melbourne, Monash University. Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL). MABEL Wave 11 survey. Melbourne: MABEL, 2020).