You can actually change the course of someone’s life
Family Doctor Week – July 21 to 27
Dr Alison Soerensen – Western Australia
The Murray Medical Centre is a GP-owned centre in Mandurah, a seaside location south of Perth.
Dr Alison Soerensen did her first year of GP training at the centre and returned to work there after gaining Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. It is a large practice and provides the full spectrum of primary care. It has 12 full-time equivalent doctors.
“I was doing seven to eight sessions a week, four patients an hour, one hundred patients a week,” Dr Soerensen says.
“Young babies and mums mostly. I have a Diploma in Breastfeeding Management. Being able to be involved, often as the first GP who is a constant in a woman’s life, is very rewarding.
“Up until that point, it can be transient for them. They might see a GP sporadically. Then they realise the importance of having a regular GP.
“I was barely 17 when I finished high school. I thought medicine was interesting but very maths and science based. I applied to UWA and in order to be considered for medicine it had to be your first preference. So I put it as my first preference and thought I’d let the uni decide.
“My mother found something I had written as a five-year-old. It was my life’s goals. They were: have three children, get married, be a doctor.”
Dr Sorensen was instrumental in implementing a national policy for breast-feeding mothers sitting exams, and last year was named WA’s top junior doctor.
“I practise across the spectrum of general practice – from the cradle to the grave,” she says.
“I also am connected to the local hospital. Being able to be a part of somebody’s life for more than just a moment … you can actually change the course of someone’s life. Sometimes you’re the only constant.”
Published: 15 Jul 2019