Inspiring doctor wins NSW/ACT GP in Training of Year award

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is pleased to announce that Dr Josephine Guyer has won the RACGP NSW/ACT General Practitioner in Training of the Year award.

Dr Guyer is currently working at the Myhealth Liverpool clinic, having completed terms at the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation in Airds, the Primacare Medical Centre in Roselands and Schwarz Family in Elderslie. She was previously a worthy recipient of the RACGP’s inaugural Growing Strong Award in 2017 and has embraced that ethos in her GP training.

RACGP Acting President Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda today congratulated Dr Guyer.

“Dr Guyer brings extraordinary strength and resilience to her training and work as a GP,” Associate Professor Shenouda said.

“Her background as a registered nurse for almost 20 years, cultural experience as a proud Wiradjuri woman and the fact that she is the parent of three teenagers means that she comes to the role of general practice with valuable life experience that will help her care for patients from different walks of life.

“Providing responsive and culturally appropriate care is absolutely essential and Dr Guyer is perfectly placed to do just that.

“I have it on good authority that Dr Guyer is a very humble GP who is supportive of other registrars and always willing to share her knowledge and experiences.

“Taking that sort of attitude to general practice is so important because it will enable her to lead by example and improve the work of those around her for many years to come in what I am sure will be a distinguished GP career. So once again congratulations Dr Guyer and best of luck.”

Dr Guyer said that she was humbled to be named winner of the RACGP award.

“It is an honour to receive this award. As a doctor there are always new opportunities to learn and grow and share your insights with other healthcare workers, including GPs in training,” Dr Guyer said.

“As GP Synergy’s only Aboriginal medical educator, I am passionate about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health training and workforce needs.

“Within GP Synergy, I endeavour to make myself available to assist and advise other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander registrars. I am also keen to share my training experiences to help others on their journey towards becoming a GP.

“My message to any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person considering becoming a doctor is straightforward. You can do it, because I have done it and we need more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working as health professions – including in general practice.

“There is so much more we can do to improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. When I received the Growing Strong Award just a few years ago I said that Aboriginal people do have a different level of connection with me when I tell them that I am Aboriginal too.

“I still believe that it affords me a special level of empathy and understanding, particularly since I come from an Aboriginal family with similar health problems to those I see some of my patients experiencing.

“Even though I am currently training in a mainstream practice, I hope to return to working in the Aboriginal community controlled health sector in the longer term as my passion has always been to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

“Something that I want to focus on in the years ahead is preventative health. That means educating patients about how to improve their health and wellbeing, rather than just seeing them when new health problems emerge.

“It is about being proactive rather than reactive, and when working within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, it is about empowerment and educating and encouraging people to change and hence improve their health. This isn’t always easy but is definitely worth the challenge.”

Dr Guyer’s roles in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health include:

· contributing to the design, development and delivery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health training workshops as a member of the GP Synergy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Working Group

· advocating for culturally appropriate clinical practice by working with other medical educators and GP Synergy’s Aboriginal Cultural Education Unit (ACEU) to design, develop and deliver an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health cultural awareness and education webinar during the COVID-19 pandemic

· collaborating with the ACEU in providing support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GP registrars

· contributing to the Aboriginal Advisory Committee at the Kildare Road Medical Centre in Blacktown.

The RACGP Awards recognise the value of GPs in our community, celebrating the achievements of exceptional individuals who go above and beyond to care for their patients.

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