Working with indigenous people gives General Practitioners the opportunity to help improve one of Australia’s most pressing public health concerns, the gap between the health outcomes of indigenous Australians and other Australians. Working as a General Practitioner for indigenous health is sometimes demanding due to this being an area of medicine where you can make a big difference. This is because of the health outcomes in some indigenous communities are still much poorer than other communities.
There are several ways that General Practitioners can choose to work specifically with indigenous people, including locum work, fly- in/ fly- out placements, living in a community, working in an urban ACCHS or conducting public health research. Unlike some other specialities where the job market is tight, career prospects are plentiful for General Practitioners with an interest in indigenous health.
When asked about working in indigenous health, professionals often say they are driven by a desire to reduce the inequality of healthcare among Australians. Although the role is sometimes challenging, General Practitioners are able to celebrate the small achievements and are undeterred by the large issue of social advantage. Working with indigenous health services provides the opportunity to work in a unique and challenging environment which can result in improved clinical skills. When working as a General Practitioner, it is especially important when working with any patent to establish a trusting relationship. General Practitioners need to be good listeners who take a non-judgemental approach to their patients. Other key attributes include having good interpersonal skills and being flexible.
There is also the opportunity to understand more about the kin networks, traditions, beliefs and heritage of Australian’s indigenous population. Registrars undertaking a placement in an indigenous health service may qualify for financial incentives and grants for networking in regional remote and rural areas.
If you are a General Practitioner looking to further develop your clinical skills and make a difference to the indigenous community, our team of GP consultants have a range of opportunities available and are ready to assist you in your next role.
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