The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has awarded Western Sydney University medical student Jean-Baptiste Philibert a Rural Medical Student Bursary to visit a clinic in Warialda, northern New South Wales.
The RACGP Awards recognise the value of GPs and in our community, celebrating the achievements of exceptional individuals who go above and beyond, while in training or practicing to care for their patients.
A John Flynn Scholar, Jean-Baptiste aspires to become a rural GP and has a particular interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare.
His passion for rural practice grew during his first placement to Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation, an Indigenous health service in the Northern Territory. There he sat in on consultations with GPs, Aboriginal health practitioners and remote nurses.
A mature age student, Jean-Baptiste moved to Western Australia as a 16-year-old international student from Reunion Island, South Africa. He worked in several fields including in rural communities. After gaining citizenship, he knew he wanted to work in remote communities in healthcare and applied for medical school.
Jean-Baptise said the RACGP’s Rural Medical Student Bursary would enable him to take up an invitation he received to visit a clinic in Warialda, and further his development to become a rural general practitioner.
Chair RACGP Rural Dr Michael Clements congratulated Jean-Baptiste on his award.
“It is great to see a medical student like Jean-Baptiste Philibert with such passion for remote general practice.
“As a rural GP and practice owner, I know what it is that draws GPs to train and practice in rural and remote Australia.
“Rural and remote communities tend to rely on their GPs for much of their healthcare needs. This means there is great variety for GPs working in these communities, you could be providing emergency care one moment, and helping someone with a chronic condition the next.
“The connection to community is another great aspect of rural general practice. A rural GP gets to know their patients and their families, and you really get to see the value of your work as a GP – you’re not just helping people when they’re sick, you’re also helping them to stay well, benefiting the whole community.”
“I wish Jean-Baptiste all the best in his future career, and encourage him to keep doing all he can to increase his experience and skills in general practice so he provide the highest quality care to his patients.”