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New generation of GPs calling Bundaberg home

29th June 2017

A new generation of general practitioners is calling Bundaberg home thanks to a locally administered training program.

James Cook University’s Generalist Medical Training (GMT) program is helping to address the GP shortage in Bundaberg, with 29 doctors currently completing general practitioner training across the Bundaberg region.

Dr Denise Powell, GMT Senior Fellow and owner of Millbank Medical Practice in Bundaberg, has worked as a GP in the Bundaberg district for 40 years and says it’s exciting to see positive outcomes.

“GMT is helping address the needs of regional, rural and remote Queensland by delivering a fit-for-practice workforce, and training GPs who have particular aptitude for service in these communities,” says Dr Powell.

“We are starting to see positive results from a long-term commitment and investment in training for young doctors in this community.

“Bundaberg became a training hub for third and fourth year medical students in 2005. More doctors are coming to train in Bundaberg, and many of these doctors are establishing themselves in our community, buying homes, having families, and building their GP careers here,” says Dr Powell.

Dr Powell thanks the Bundaberg community for the important role it’s played in supporting junior doctors.

“It takes a whole community effort, and patients are vital to the process”.

Dr Drew Speight, a GP at Burnett Medical Centre in Bundaberg, has been supervising GP Registrars in Bundaberg for the past four years and recently joined the GMT program as a Medical Educator. Dr Speight has been practicing in Bundaberg for over 30 years, and says he is encouraged by the quality of young doctors choosing to base themselves in the region.

“Through the GMT training program, we are building the pipeline and encouraging more GPs to base themselves outside of the major cities. I feel privileged to be involved in helping guide these doctors through their training,” he says.

Dr Josiah Manteit is one of the new generation of GPs calling Bundaberg home, after moving from Brisbane in 2014 to complete his medicine degree at the University of Queensland’s Rural Clinical School. Dr Josiah is now completing his GP training via GMT at the Millbank Medical Practice in Bundaberg. He and his wife, a teacher, are expecting their first child in August.

“My partner and I came to Bundaberg as students, and we both really enjoyed living here, and found there were lots of career opportunities, as well as a great lifestyle, so we decided to stay,” says Dr Manteit.

“Doctors in regional, rural and remote areas get to experience a huge variety of practice, and no two days are the same. I strongly encourage other doctors to consider coming to Bundaberg, as it’s a wonderful place to train, work, and live”.

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