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This practice will accept applications from Training Term (TT) 1-4 registrars.

Active Health Portland offers holistic healthcare to meet the needs of Portland and the wider community of over 12,000 people.

Portland has a wonderful lifestyle and great amenities. A short drive will take you to National Parks for a range of outdoor activities. And the Great Ocean Road, Twelve Apostles and Shipwreck Coast are right on your doorstep.

The clinic’s broad scope of practice spans management of acute, chronic and complex conditions across all age groups.  Patients have access to a gym, physiotherapist, podiatrist, exercise physiologist, dietitian and diabetic educator on-site, as well as the practice nurses, a mental health nurse and a visiting speech pathologist. A resident physician, paediatrician, ophthalmologist, general surgeon and obstetrician/gynaecologist are available.

The practice is unique in that there are multiple ‘layers of learners’. Interns from the local hospital work alongside students and registrars. Trainees work with the practice for the entire year and have the opportunity to continue most of their GP training as rural generalists. Interns work in GP and provide a valuable link to the hospital. GP trainees can choose to have privileges at the well-equipped Portland District Health, with acute, primary health and aged care services.

GP trainees have opportunities for procedural work in emergency, surgery, obstetrics and anaesthetics. All trainees participate in face-to-face learning together once a week. The practice offers the ability to work in a flexible timetable that can incorporate most areas of special interest. GP trainees are not expected to take part in after-hours work. The practice also offers the additional financial incentive of being a mixed billing practice that also offers the ability to salary package. GP trainees can also access the hospital specialists to learn more about their area of special interest.

A range of opportunities for procedural work in emergency, surgery, obstetrics and anaesthetics, are available. They are also able to work with the paediatrician to consolidate skills. GP trainees do not need to work any ‘on call’ unless they choose to work in the emergency department.

Portland has a 62 bed hospital and two aged care facilities (Bupa and Harbourside Lodge). The health service has a 24/7 Urgent Care Centre, two theatre suites, an eight-bed day procedure unit, a visiting specialists centre, together with a 30 bed co-located residential aged care facility to meet the healthcare needs of its diverse community. Practice GPs also provide services to Heywood Rural Health’s aged care facilities.

This diversity makes for a comprehensive, stimulating training ground for GP trainees. Opportunities include:

  • Aboriginal health: practice diversity placement at Dhauwurd-Wurrung Aboriginal Health Medical Service
  • Skin cancer management: training around the management of skin cancers and removal of skin lesions through attending the clinic of the visiting plastic surgeon
  • Emergency medicine: work opportunities available with the local hospital
  • GP obstetrics: training can be undertaken in conjunction with local hospital
  • Industrial medicine: clinics at the Port of Portland and the Alcoa Portland Aluminum Smelter providing medicals, preventative health education, immunisation for Q fever, pre-employment checks, periodical medical checks for lung function, hearing and skin checks
  • Adolescent health: the Doctors in Secondary Schools Program and various youth programs
  • Community health: GP trainees attend sessions with Breast Feeding Association

Living on the coast and adjacent to National Parks, GP trainees have the opportunity to participate in almost any outdoor activity they wish. Local running and sports clubs, the Arts Company and regular dinners with other young professionals make Portland an attractive place to live.

Dive in, with the world-renowned Great Ocean Road on your doorstep. Portland is a flourishing regional centre with a wonderful lifestyle, hidden treasures and cultural treats to discover.

Experience this coastal gem.

A bit of everything in Victoria’s coastal south west.

GP trainees will be supervised by experienced, highly-qualified GPs such as Dr Marg Garde, Dr Debbie Carrington and Dr Daryl Pedler.

Each supervisor has their own special interests. Dr Carrington (a certified lactation consultant) has appointments specifically quarantined for expectant and new mothers and their babies. Dr Pedler has an interest in research. Dr Garde has an interest in aged care and all are passionate about medical education.

Dr Carrington also enjoys writing and has had articles published in newsGP and Medical Republic. Dr Marg Garde and her partner lease the Cape Nelson Lighthouse Precint and run a cafe, lighthouse cottage accommodation and lighthouse tours.

Dr Marg Garde is also passionate about preventative care, health promotion and early intervention. Her special interests include adolescent health, women’s health, mental health and older women’s health issues, in particular, menopause.

“Chronic disease is an enormous burden and you need a multi-disciplinary practice to address patient’s needs. ….the patients really do see this as a one stop shop.” said Dr Garde.

The practice divides the year into various subject matter and works to relate the teaching to patients the GP trainees have seen. The teaching program also supports trainees as they get closer to their exams providing specific training and OSCE exam practice.

“We have dedicated time for teaching. We have got a vertically integrated model of training in this practice, with GP trainees and medical students. We have trainees at different levels so that they all support one another throughout their training.” said Dr Garde.

Dr Marg Garde said general practice is about many things, but for her it’s mostly the relationships.

“The most valuable thing is just taking a patient’s hands along their journey of getting better, or of learning to live with whatever illness they have.

“Every single patient gives you something that makes you feel that is it worthwhile sitting in the chair. It might not be every consultation every day, but every patient – somewhere along the line – just makes you feel glad that you do what you do. You can’t beat that.”

See more about the practice here.

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