Dr Janice Kiem was recently awarded the Maureen Duke and Marian Sullivan Memorial Award for the Queensland Registrar with the highest Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) score for semester one of 2017.
Dr Kiem completed general practice training through James Cook University’s Generalist Medical Training program.
“Receiving this award was honestly a big surprise. I did not have a huge amount of confidence in how I had performed. My preparation was intense, and my success can be attributed in a great proportion to the clinicians who assisted me in training,” says Dr Kiem from her home in Mackay where she lives with her husband and two-year-old daughter.
She shares some tips on preparing for exams in this article.
Dr Kiem grew up in a small town near Kingaroy in rural Queensland. She studied Medical Laboratory Science at James Cook University and worked as a Medical Laboratory Scientist before entering Griffith University’s graduate medical program and working at the Gold Coast Hospital.
A Paediatric Principal House Officer job took Dr Kiem to the Mackay Base Hospital, where she completed diplomas in child health and obstetrics/gynaecology.
“Working in child health and obstetrics/gynaecology certainly shaped my general practice skills and introduced me to the true concept of family medicine,” she says.
Dr Kiem became interested in general practice while working as a junior doctor in outpatient clinics.
“I realised that there was so much more I could be doing in terms of primary care and preventative medicine, to make a difference in the lives of my patients. I thought ‘I could do this, and I think I could do this well’, so I applied for the Australian General Practice Training program, and was accepted.”
Dr Kiem completed GP training with Mackay’s GP Superclinic, One Stop Medical, and Caneland Medical Centre, where she continued after fellowing with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in August this year. She completed advanced skills in paediatrics and obstetrics/gynaecology as part of her training.
She says her family enjoy Mackay’s laid-back culture and lifestyle.
“Living in the buzz of the Gold Coast and Brisbane is all well and fun, however after many years those hours of commuting in heavy traffic are a real trial. For us, moving away from there gave us back many precious hours each day, which is time spent together and with family.”
Dr Kiem says one of the things she most enjoys about being a GP is looking after families.
“One day I will see a little child, and then some time later mum or the siblings will come in, then dad etc. In some cases I am actually looking after three generations in the same family, and for me this is intensely rewarding.
“I look after children that I actually delivered when working in obstetrics, and families that I met whilst working in emergency department as a paediatric registrar. I love it when patients find me again.”
Dr Kiem is now helping train the next generation of doctors and supervises James Cook University medical students undertaking clinical placements at Caneland Medical Centre.
“In terms of my next set of career goals, I am interested in further training in dermatology and skin cancer medicine. This is very important where I practice in North Queensland. I also intend to complete a master’s degree in medicine or medical education at some stage.
“I look forward to the challenges ahead of me. General practice is a challenging specialty, and one which I never thought I would pursue, but which has already rewarded me a thousandfold.”