Farm near Dubbo hosts safety workshop for GP registrars

Doctors training to be GPs have greater insight into the physical and mental health challenges facing farmers after attending a workshop on a property close to Dubbo.

The 25 GP registrars converged on 'Glen Valley' on the Narromine Road on Wednesday for a "farm education day".

Run by GP training provider, GP Synergy, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), the event included a farm safety workshop where "accidents" were simulated.

The GP registrars dealt with a quad bike accident, snake bite, auger accident and a cattle-crush injury.

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GP Synergy director of education and training ACT and NSW, Dr Vanessa Moran, explained why the GP registrars needed to attend the event.

"It's important for doctors working in rural areas to understand the communities that they are working and living in," she said.

"The registrars come from a variety of backgrounds and some have never been on a farm before, so it allows them to better understand the farm injuries or health issues they may see, as well as appreciate some of the stresses farmers experience."

RFDS medical officer, Dr Kiri Oates, was on hand and well equipped to support the farm education day participants.

She knows from experience the type of hazards prevalent in the bush, such as injury from machinery or livestock.

"The day offered simulation training on a working farm, preparing the GP registrars for the experience of providing emergency management in isolated surroundings, where they may be the only clinician within a large radius," Dr Oates said.

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One of the GP registrars wasn't out of her comfort zone.

Dr Rosie Nielsen, who is working at Dubbo Family Doctors, is used to farm life having grown up on a sheep and cattle property about 115 kilometres west of Bourke.

"I decided to study medicine in order to be a GP," she said.

"I wanted to do something that would enable me to be able to work in Western NSW.

"I've chosen to train here because of the passionate GP supervisors who generally have a real interest in teaching and inspiring you to become holistic capable doctors with an interest in staying in the country.

"This hands-on approach to learning about farm safety helps us gain practical measures to cope with real-life scenarios that we see and treat often."

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GP Synergy, funded by the federal government, is the sole provider of the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program within NSW and ACT

It has regional offices with medical and administration teams in Armidale, Ballina, Canberra, Chippendale, Dubbo, Liverpool, Moree, Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, and Wollongong.