Dan is a first-year Rural Generalist trainee with ACRRM. Dan is passionate about improving the delivery of healthcare for rural Australians. He is a Board member of the Rural Doctor’s Association of Victoria and Committee Member of ACRRM Future Generalist’s Committee Dan is highly active in the prevocational doctor’s training and education space participating in PMCV’s JMO Forum, and most recently developing an extracurricular medical education program for medical students in the Grampians region, facilitated by junior doctors. Dan currently works in the Grampians region, with interest areas of chronic disease, medical education, Women’s Health and LGBTIQ+ sexual health. He is an avid gardener and botanist, and spends much of his spare time tending to all things green and growing.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career/work experience up to now.
I was born and raised a country boy. I grew up in the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales in a small town called Kempsey. Whilst much has changed since my childhood, including geography and interests, it was the perfect place to nurture a curious mind.

With regard to my career, I’m a first-year Rural Generalist Registrar with ACRRM (PGY2), undertaking Core Clinical Training in the Grampians region. I undertook my internship in Ballarat and fell in the love with the region (yes, including the weather!). I look forward to progressing through Rural Generalist training with sub-speciality interests in chronic disease, medical education, Women’s Health and LGBTIQ+ sexual health.

What made you want to pursue a career in rural medicine?

My perception of a doctor was the ­do-it-all GP. The doctor who cared for the entirely family from cradle to grave; delivering babies all the while ensuring your grandmother has a dignified palliative care experience.

I chose to pursue a career in rural medicine because I’m from the bush, and that’s where my heart and passions lie. To live, to work and to enjoy a life in the country all while serving those regional and rural Australians who work so arduously to make Australia such a great place to be.

Why did you choose ACRRM?

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) was an easy choice for my Rural Generalist training journey. There are a multitude of reasons extending from diligent college supports, to training opportunities, but the most important reason for me was flexibility and scope within my training. And ACRRM provides that. ACRRM aims to train the rural generalists of the future, and the training pathway lives and embodies that philosophy by encouraging and enabling trainees to become an integral part of their rural communities and up-skill in sub-speciality and generalist disciplines that meet healthcare needs for their communities.

What are some things you might normally do in your day-to-day at work/in a week?

At this stage, given I am a first-year Rural Generalist trainee, my core clinical training takes place in a large regional hospital. So, my day consists of highly variable in-patient care depending on the generalist rotation I am undertaking. My year consists of Emergency Medicine, Paediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynaecology.

But, an important component of my days this year has been the coordination and delivery of a new medical education program: junior medical officers and hospital registrars providing extracurricular education to medical students. It has been a pleasure thus far and allows me to further incorporate teaching into my everyday practice.

What has been one of your career highlights so far?
There are so many highlights of my career thus far. The biggest highlight would be my contributions toward assisting the development and implementation of the Victorian and National Rural Generalist Pathways, such as Rural Generalism is a recognised medical specialty, and generalist doctors have a clear path to attaining their career and professional goals.

Do you have a dream place you’d like to work as a rural or remote GP?

Honestly, I’m already working in my dream place as a Rural Generalist; The Grampians, Victoria. The Grampians is a picturesque part of the Victorian state and likely be a long-term home for myself and my family.

What are you most looking forward to at RMA19?

Aside from the opportunity to catch-up with colleagues and network for new professional opportunities; some of the activities I look forward to most include:

  1. Future Generalists’ Function: an opportunity for students, junior doctors and Rural Generalists in-training to network and unwind
  2. Practical Skills Workshops
  3. Conference Dinner and Excellence Awards: which celebrate many of our outstanding college members’ lifetime achievements
  4. Colleagues Projects & Initiatives: Listening to and engaging in some of the newest research by colleagues – in particular, topics on medical education and sexual health in rural settings will pique my interest

Do you have any advice for those who might be attending their first conference?For all newcomers to RMA, or any conference for that matter; first and foremost – have fun! RMA is what you make of it. Attend sessions that you know you will enjoy, and seek out topics for discussion that might challenge your perceptions or understanding. In between sessions, make sure to extend a greeting to a colleague – you never know might what eventuate from a chance encounter.

Oh, and please take time to relax; this year you’re on the Gold Coast after all!