Dr Patrick Giltrap was recognised for 36 years of service to Cooma, Gilgandra and Gulargambone. He said he felt “very honoured” to be recognised at the 2017 NSW Rural Medical Service Awards.
Since 1983, Dr Patrick Giltrap has practiced at Gilgandra Medical Centre servicing the communities of Gilgandra and Gulargambone.
Initially Dr Giltrap thought he’d be working in Gilgandra for 6 months, after that period came and gone he then planned to stay for three years.
“Three years soon passed and I felt at home,” he said.
Dr Giltrap said there was a lot of reasons for staying in the town, but the work and being welcomed by the local community was some of the main reasons for staying on.
“I think initially I was made to feel very welcome in the community and I enjoyed the work and challenge,” he said.
Prior to this, Dr Giltrap was a GP locum in the NSW Orana region, servicing areas including Walgett and Baradine.
His first rural GP experience was through the Family Medical Program in 1978 when he worked in Narromine.
“I had a wonderful time there. It was my first introduction to country practice,” he said.
Dr Giltrap said although he has been working in the central west for 35 years, time has flew by and has only felt like 10 years.
Dr Giltrap is certainly very traveled around the central west NSW, but also around the world.
He was born in Uganda and lived in Kenya before he came to Australia in 1964 with his family.
Dr Giltrap studied High School and University in Sydney.
His encouraged to students to experience working in a regional community.
Dr Giltrap is actively involved in many facets of rural general practice and has a great interest in teaching and mentoring.
RDN CEO Richard Colbran said Dr Giltrap has supervised and supported medical students and GP Registrars for decades, providing opportunities for the future rural medical workforce to participate in his practice.
“It is rare for rural doctors to be formally recognised for the outstanding contribution they make to their community and acknowledged for the work they do,” Mr Colbran said.
“This award provides a unique opportunity for the people of Gilgandra and Gulargambone to acknowledge the difference that Dr Giltrap makes to the health and well-being of the local community.”