Today kicks off Family Doctor Week – a celebration of primary care – spearheaded by the Australian Medical Association.

This year marked a momentous milestone for me – I found the one. I found my GP.

Now it it is your turn to find yours.

It had always been on the to-do list. Unfortunately, it had always managed to slip down to the bottom of the priorities.

And I’m not alone: 28% of anaesthetic trainees do not have a regular GP (1), 30% of medical students do not have one (2).

Perhaps it was because I hadn’t clicked with other practitioners before.

But I was looking for love in all the wrong places, and maybe you are too.

To quote That Lady Doctor:

“When someone in a Saba jacket complains to me that “the last crap doctor” didn’t explain anything, I inwardly reflect that it’s like whinging that eating McDonald’s gave you reflux.”

While I don’t own a Saba jacket, I was bouncing around from bulk billing practice to bulk billing practice, waiting in line at the “open” clinic sessions.  I was seeking continuity of care where there was none to be found. Continuity of care is the bedrock of primary care, and what makes our health system so great.

I did it properly. Found a GP with a longer waiting list. One that doesn’t advertise as a bulk billing service.

And now I have found The One.

He had me at the social history…

“Tell me a bit about yourself – your job, your family, anything.”

This was the first time any doctor had asked me this sort of stuff. It was refreshing. He had this magical ability to take a step back and see the full landscape – a gift that all good GPs possess.

Now it’s your turn.

The Australian Medical Association is holding events all week to celebrate – find out about them here.

The Australian Medical Student’s Association (AMSA) has a database of GPs with an interest in treating medical student’s. Get in touch with them at cwo@amsa.org.au

The Doctors Health Advisory Service (DHAS) has a similar database for junior doctors. They have provided a few e-mail addresses here.

The relationship that you form with your GP will be one of the most rewarding of your career, if done right. You can’t be expected to look after yourself all of the time.

 

Join the conversation this week #amafdw

 

 

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28072938

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20170454

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