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Docs in Frocks unite north Queensland

7th March 2018

If juggling a busy work life and family wasn’t enough, General Practice (GP) registrar Dr Emma Rossato is on a mission to unite the female doctors of north Queensland.

Dr Rossato is the founder of the group Docs in Frocks that provides support and networking opportunities to its members.

She said the idea grew two years ago over a few drinks with friends.

“A lot of us are mums and are at home with kids when there are dinner meetings on, which are hard to get to.” she said.

“We thought the boys had a bit of an unfair advantage in networking in Townsville, so we decided to start something up so the girls could get together.”

Two years on, the group now includes more than 300 members, ranging from interns to specialists with over 20 years’ experience from across north Queensland.

The group hosts a number of networking events including dinners, drink events and high teas throughout the year.

On top of the networking events, Docs in Frocks is also a Facebook group for sharing advice.

“We jump on there to share information from who knows a good baby sitter or cleaner, to who would someone recommend for a family member’s surgery.”

Being a mum of four kids ageing between 6 to 11 years old, Dr Rossato knows the value of having a good support network and work life balance.

She said working at the Northern Beaches GP Super Clinic in Townsville, as a GP registrar has given her flexibility in her working and home life.

“The best thing about being a GP is that the hours are very good, not a lot of over time that is unexpected, so the hours are very structured, which makes it very family friendly."

Dr Rossato is completing her GP training through James Cook University’s (JCU) Generalist Medical Training program.

“I am very lucky that JCU let me do some part-time training so I still have time to get up and scream at the kids ‘get in the car’ and get to work in time.”

When speaking about her proudest moments in her GP training, Dr Rossato says that preventive medicine is undervalued in our community but makes such a huge difference to people’s lives.

“I like to think that everyday has a small win. It’s getting someone who has never lost weight in their life, to lose 20 kilos. They don’t snore, their life is so vastly improved, and I mean I take that as a huge win. It means they don’t go onto get diabetes and get their leg amputated.”

Dr Rossato’s piece of advice for any women considering becoming a GP – “Go for it! It is a great specialty to do, with or without family. The College is really flexible with having time off for family.”

She encouraged any lady doctor looking for support or to network to consider Docs in Frocks and join the “Sisters doing it for themselves."

If you would like to join Docs in Frocks, send them a message via their Facebook group with your medical registration details.

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Townsville QLD 4811