ararat medical centre

Medical education

The benefits of rural practice

The opportunities offered by a large rural practice for learning the diverse aspects of general practice are unrivalled. Where metro practices tend to refer patients to specialists, rural GPs must develop skills and interests in a variety of areas to compensate for the difficulties in accessing relevant specialists and services.

A large rural practice delivers exceptional learning experiences for GPs.

The Ararat Medical Centre currently has 13 practicing GPs with specialities and interests including:

  • Anaesthetics
  • Obstetrics
  • Geriatrics
  • Paediatrics
  • Palliative care
  • Diagnostics
  • Sexual health
  • Travel medicine
  • Emergency

 

The Ararat Medical Centre

Ararat Medical Centre is proud of its long tradition in teaching the next generation of practitioners. Having registrars work alongside the established doctors not only keeps us open to new ideas and methods, but encourages us to remain at the forefront of contemporary practice. We find that we learn from our registrars as much as we teach and guide. We have an excellent reputation for the FRACGP exams, and are able to offer comprehensive support towards this goal.

Accommodation

We own a number of properties within the city of Ararat and can provide secure and comfortable accommodation for registrars and their family. Please click here to view photos of the available housing.

The Mentors

Dr. Michael Connellan has long been interested in teaching both registrars and medical students. He sees general practice as a specialty area of medicine, with a multitude of skills and knowledge required to provide whole of life care for his patients.

“I want to encourage others to have the confidence in their ability to diagnose and manage complex problems, as well as procedural work where appropriate,” he says.

Dr. Pieter Pretorius has also been interested in teaching both registrars and medical students. Having moved from South Africa to Australia Pieter understands the Fellowship process and how daunting it can seem.

“I enjoy teaching students and registrars and being involved in ultimately them receiving Fellowship and hopefully being involved in Rural Practice long-term” he says.

After hours

Whilst the after hours and emergency roster expectations is an exciting opportunity for improving skills for some, we understand that it might be daunting for GPs who have not had the experience or opportunities to expand their skills in this area.

The Ararat Medical Centre has developed a system to ensure GP Registrars are supported and eased into this vital service for rural towns.

We provide:

  • hospital orientation for the Accident and Emergency department
  • orientation to after hours
  • dual rostering with an experience GP for initial call outs
  • graduated scheduling into the after hours roster
  • 24 hour support from your GP mentor and all experienced GPs
  • triaged after hours support system – this service reduces after hours call outs by 60%

 

Our Practice Manager and GP Mentor will be happy to discuss any concerns you might have and find a suitable arrangement.

Great expectations

The experiences a GP registrar can expect in working with AMC include:

  • Comfortable and Secure Accommodation for you and your family.
  • Study leave - it is important for our registrars to feel supported in continuing education without undue stress.
  • Flexible work hours - we understand that family, friends and outside interests enhance your care and services to our patients. We want to ensure the workload and stress of GP life is not overwhelming for you.
  • Weekend Work – our GPs work only one weekend in four – leaving them time for Melbourne visits or to pursue outside activities.
  • Supportive GPs with varied interests – all of our qualified GPs are dedicated to assisting and supporting our GP Registrars.
  • After Hours support system to reduce call outs – provided by the Grampians Medicare Local, this service reduces after hours call outs by 60%.
  • A GP dedicated to mentoring / tutoring in regular and protected teaching times.
  • 24 hour support from GPs – as part of our continuing dedication to teaching and mentoring.
  • Skills for managing simple and complex problems, preventative health, acute medicine and trauma, family and community care.
  • Local Hospital rounds - as an accredited Visiting Medical Officer at East Grampians Health Service, registrars also take on the care of inpatients at the local hospital and are able to expand on the skills gained during their hospital years.
  • Opportunities to explore obstetrics, anaesthetics and emergency care under the guidance of experienced local general practitioners. This can lead to an advanced rural training post as part of the later years of your training.
  • Care – we also ensure our registrars develop an ability to care for themselves and have an adequate balance between work and play.

 

What the Previous GP Registrars had to say

About the Ararat Medical Centre

The dynamic husband and wife team Ajay and Neelima Reddy relocated from Ballarat to the area in early 2005. When asked about their favourite aspect of the Ararat Medical Centre, neither hesitates for the answer.

“The people here are fantastic,” Neelima says. “All the doctors are supportive and willing to help whenever I need it.”

Ajay agrees, “There is always back up. Not one doctor has complained when I have called for advice or for them to assist me. The doctors are happy to chat in the corridors and offer advice. I don’t think this support is as freely available in other practices.”

The GPs hands-on mentoring have paid off for Ajay. “I felt prepared for my exams (FRACGP). I didn’t need to take on extra classes to prepare. From a training and learning perspective, the rural location has given me the opportunity to see a diverse range of health problems and get the experience I needed.”

Neelima appreciates the flexibility given to her to support her family and her interests outside of medicine.

“I can call in sick or stay home for my child and I know that is accepted as part of life. I feel supported.”

But most of all, Neelima and Ajay enjoy the work atmosphere. “The staff are so lovely the Practice Manager is approachable and caring. It makes such a difference.”

About Michael Connellan, GP Registrar Mentor

More than anything else, Ajay admires Michael’s openness to gain knowledge from the tutorials as much as the registrars.

“Michael facilitates two-way discussions rather than tutorials. He doesn’t talk down to us and values our opinions. He is as open to sharing his knowledge.”

Michael stands by his promise to be available when needed.

“I have called a number of times in the middle of the night and Michael is always supportive and willing to come in to assist me if I need it,” Ajay says, “it makes a difference.”

About living in Ararat

Neelima and Ajay enjoy the diversity a thriving town such as Ararat has to offer.

“There is everything you need here and we are close enough to Ballarat (only one hour by car or train) to get any extras,” Neelima says. “And I love that everything is centralised, I don’t spend hours travelling to work or childcare.”

“And Melbourne isn’t too far away,” Ajay adds.

They both agree that the friendliness of Ararat is a major factor for their ongoing commitment to the area.

“I know most people on a personal level,” Neelima says, “and I play badminton in the local competition. It is a great way to feel a part of the community.”

 
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