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Diversity and fellowship

27th March 2020

For Dr Kate Bialy diversity is the key to a rewarding, life-long career.

“I don’t think there’s any other fellowship like rural medicine that can provide for such diversity, with all the potential speciality avenues that you can go down. There are so many different shapes and sizes, and you can change over the years as your interests or lifestyle changes.”

Dr Bialy chose to combine her GP training at Sarina Family Practice while also taking on the role of Medical Educator at Mackay Base Hospital.

“I was interested in medical education because as a doctor we are always educating medical students. Learning how to be a learner is also really helpful for my journey, as being a doctor requires on-going education, you never stop learning.”

Having a regular break from clinical work is also something that suits Dr Bialy. “Sometimes the clinical work is quite draining, so it’s been helpful to have a break. It can be really hard when you’re telling patients what they need to hear and not what they want to hear.”

Dr Bialy describes her choice to practice medicine in the scenic and coastal Mackay region as a decision also based on the desire to make a meaningful contribution.

“My husband and I wanted to go where we could be the most help, and we noticed there was very high transience and turnover of people in the medical sphere here. When it comes to continuity of care in medicine, it does create a huge gap.”

Dr Bialy highly recommends other doctors to consider practising rural medicine if they are interested in making real changes to community health outcomes.

“Certainly if you are keen to make a difference in a big way to a small community it’s very easy to do that in rural medicine. It’s easier to identify problems, especially with some of the data we can extract these days, and to actively make a change toward that. You’ve got a lot more control because you are the health facility in that community, rather than being one of many.”

Despite an initial lack of confidence in undertaking rural GP training, Dr Bialy says she felt supported by the JCU training program and the fellowship of other registrars.

“I did have a rocky transition into being a GP registrar as I had 12 months off before doing this role, but the JCU team were great in providing me with the confidence and the skills to help me keep going. The training program also provides the opportunity to meet other registrars and to work alongside them.”

On her time off, Dr Bialy enjoys exploring the Mackay coastal region, walking out to the nearby islands at low tide, and is an avid cyclist. 

“If you can enjoy your work as well as get what you need from life, then that’s great, and certainly rural GP has that to offer”.

Dr Bialy was recently awarded her GP Fellowship and works in Mackay. She is currently studying the Essential Skills in Medical Education (ESME) certificate.

Interested in GP training with adventure, skills and impact? Applications for AGPT’s 2021 intake open 23 March to 27 April 2020. Apply now.

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