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15 Jul 2019

Family Doctor Week – July 21 to 27   


Dr Melinda Choy – Australian Capital Territory   

Dr Melinda Choy is a GP at the Gordon Family Practice in Canberra’s southern suburbs. She shares her work life between that practice and the Australian National University’s medical clinic at the Canberra Public Hospital where she tutors.

“A typical Thursday (the day she spoke to Australian Medicine) would be I start seeing patients at 9am until midday. I have a variety of patients and a mix of regular patients, some are family members, some new patients,” she says.

“I have lunch then I quickly get out the door and off to the ANU medical clinic at the Canberra Public Hospital. My first focus there is that I’ve got to get a park.

“I teach first year medical students and give medical skills tutorials. I teach them how to take a good patient history. That initial history is so important.

“I have 8 to 10 students and I teach between 1.30 and 5pm. Sometimes after that, I go to a desk and tidy up something from research.

“I’ve been at Gordon a year in August. I was a registrar there and am now a very new Fellow.

“One of the privileges of general practice is you get to see people get better, which is nice.

“Even if you don’t – people face enormous struggles – you get to see the resilience.

“As you face it with them and help, the side privilege is seeing how people rise up to the meet their challenges. You see their strength.

“I like seeing different members of the same family. We have five doctors spread across different hours.

“That idea of helping people and extending your ability to help – general practice allows that. Teaching allows that a bit too.

“What got me into medicine was an attraction to the science of it all, but also the appeal of being deeply involved in people’s lives.”

Published: 15 Jul 2019