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24 Jul 2018

Family Doctor Week 
New South Wales – Dr Danielle McMullen 

For Dr Danielle McMullen of the Church Street Medical Practice in Newtown, being a family doctor is an enormous privilege.

Primary care is a passion, as is the whole medical profession– she has held numerous roles in the AMA, including being on the NSW AMA Board since 2014 and Vice President of AMA New South Wales since May this year. She is also now on the Federal AMA Board.

In the big and busy city clinic where she works, Dr McMullen is known for being down-to-earth and approachable, funny and witty, calm and competent, and extremely good at her job.

She is a strategic thinker and a problem solver.

“I’ve been here at this practice almost three years and I have gradually put the family trees of people together,” she said.

“Eventually it dawns on you, or a patient tells you, that you’re also treating their whole family.

“I see about 25 patients in an average day, and they are all ages. My patients are between the ages of zero years and 96.

“The highlight of being a family doctor is that you get to know the family you are treating, and, in some respect, you become part of the family.

“That is really profound and quite a privilege. They genuinely care about us, and we care about them. We are giving them medical care, but it’s in the context of their whole lives. We really get to know them.

“You know how far to go with treating their health because you know what else is going on for them.”

Dr McMullen insists her passion for general practice came from wonderful mentors and supervisors. Because of that, she wants to give back and has ensured she remains an advocate for the profession and for excellence in training of young doctors.

When she is not treating patients, Dr McMullen likes to hike, and she has just signed up to a gym.

“I am taking my own advice, which I dish out liberally to my patients, that they need to do more exercise,” she said.

For Dr McMullen, it is the appreciative patients who make her work immensely worthwhile.

“It is pretty special when we are given real heartfelt thanks, because you know you have helped someone,” she said.

“You have been able to do something for them that has been positive in their lives – like when someone gets pregnant after having been trying for so long.”

CHRIS JOHNSON


Published: 24 Jul 2018