Cameron Lau and Chris Wylde
Chris Wylde and Cameron Lau are GP Registrar trainees with the Flinders University Limestone Coast Regional Training Hub and currently based at the Kincraig Medical Clinic in Naracoorte.
The training hub works in collaboration with the Limestone Coast Local Health Network to provide a broad and diverse training program to Rural Generalist trainees, or those interested in rural medicine. The trainees are employed by the Limestone Coast LHN and undertake hospital rotations at Mount Gambier & Districts Health Service and Kincraig Medical Clinic in Naracoorte. Consulting alongside local GPs, they are gaining experience in clinical and procedural skills including anaesthetics and obstetrics. The rural generalist training program is designed to provide experience that is truly representational of rural medicine.
Both born and raised in Adelaide, neither Chris nor Cameron had previous exposure to rural community life but learned to appreciate the differences between urban and rural medicine during rural placements in their final years of Medicine.
“I was focussing on passing my exams, I hadn’t really developed a strong passion for any particular field whilst I was initially studying. It wasn’t until my first few days of placement in Wallaroo that I’d seen real rural generalists in action that my inability to commit to a specialty manifested in wanting to be a rural generalist,” said Cameron.
Chris studied Health Science as a pathway to Medicine and his curiosity about rural medicine led him to join as many regional events as possible during his university studies. “The Rural Doctors Workforce Agency would pick up students and take us to a rural town to meet the local doctors and show us what rural medicine and life is all about. I particularly enjoyed meeting Tony Lloyd in Quorn and the surprise emergency skills training during our visit. At medical school it was difficult to decide where and what area I wanted to practice in as I enjoyed doing everything. I guess that’s why I’ve found rural medicine so appealing. By working in a rural clinic, I get to enjoy every part of medicine.”
Both Cameron and Chris are enjoying working in a rural community, with exposure to a broad variety of presentations in their professional life and meeting the locals who are friendly, welcoming and keen to chat. Both enjoy sharing their adopted community highlights with visiting friends and family, from exploring nearby towns, the Coonawarra and all the great cafes and restaurants throughout the region.
Cameron describes a typical workday: “My workdays in the country are very different to what they were in the city. After making coffee and watching the news to start the day, I’ll arrive at the clinic when it opens at 9:00 and usually I’m assisting the duty doctor. This means that whilst I’ll be seeing my own patients, I will also see the patients that call in on the day and sick patients that present to the hospital (which is right next door to the clinic). A patient could present with anything from needing a sick certificate, scripts and referrals to those with chest pain, antenatal checks, pre-anaesthetic checks, postnatal baby checks or a febrile child. It is diverse.”
When down time is available outside their busy work schedules, Chris enjoys hiking (weather permitting) and has joined a couple of groups who play board games. Cameron enjoys walking, exploring the region and having recently purchased an espresso machine, is discovering the world of coffee.
Chris and Cameron feel privileged to be part of the community that have made them so welcome and are looking forward to their professional future.
In five years’, time, Chris would like to be practicing as a rural GP Obstetrician and Cameron, a rural GP Anaesthetist.