Dr Gerry Considine (BMBS(GradEntry) ’09), a GP in the mid north of South Australia, has been named Rural Doctor of the Year 2020 by the peak rural medical body, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia. He was nominated by Cancer Council South Australia in recognition of his great work in the field of skin cancer medicine.
Gerry is a past president of the Rural Doctors Association of South Australia and remains an advocate for rural doctors and patients across the state.
“I was lucky enough to spend some of my student placements and an intern rotation in rural general practice. I was initially surprised and thoroughly enjoyed the variety of medicine and feeling part of a community. Even though I grew up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, I couldn’t see myself working anywhere else than my rural communities.”
Gerry now supervises Flinders University third year medical students taking part in the Parallel Rural Community Curriculum. He says that while not everyone needs to be (or should be) a rural doctor, gaining rural experience helps city doctors understand the different challenges faced by country patients and doctors.
“What is obvious to rural doctors and patients is when a city specialist has spent some time in their student or prevocational years in the country. They don’t assume that a CT scan can be done urgently and know that getting to the tertiary hospital might take more than 4 hours.
“I’d highly recommend doing some rural placements to get an idea of what it’s like and who knows, it might even be the start of a wonderful calling.”