Having passed all his exams on his first sitting, and transitioning to becoming a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), Dr Benson Ng’s future is looking very promising. He told us about his experience as a registrar with the Primary Health Care Institute and how they have supported his journey.
Why did you decide to be a GP? “As a medical student, I always enjoyed being the first to see a patient, take a history, perform an examination and form a management plan. In my mind, this is the essence of being a doctor.
“I also love the breadth of general practice. You get to know a little bit about everything, and you never know what challenge will walk through the door next.”
How would you describe your experience with the Primary Health Care Institute? “I have enjoyed my time with the Institute. I have been able to interact with a wide variety of GPs who each have various interests and backgrounds.
“Primary have offered excellent support along the way.”
How did the Institute help you prepare for your exams? “The Institute delivered informative exam preparation sessions which were very helpful in my pre-exam studies. I also had two very experienced and helpful supervisors.
“It is thanks to the education and support I received that I was able to pass all my exams in the first sitting.”
What do you think is the best feature about the Institute? “The most significant advantage of working with the Institute is the number of resources on hand.
“Also, the Institute organised a mock OSCE as exam preparation. I think that this would be impossible for a smaller clinic to present.”
What is it like practising in a Primary medical centre? “I enjoy working at the Charlestown Medical and Dental Centre.
“As a junior registrar I found the first available system helpful as, without time pressures from appointments running late, I felt comfortable taking more time to consult with each patient.
“I also find that there are a lot more doctor-to-doctor interactions than at any of the other clinics I’ve worked at. We have daily morning tea breaks and weekly educational meetings.
“I have 20 different colleagues I can speak to for advice. We also have in-house pathology, imaging, allied health and specialists, with a well-staffed treatment room too.”
What advice would you give to young professionals in the healthcare industry? “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s OK to let the patient know if you are not sure about something. The most common way I’ve seen doctors get themselves into trouble is by not asking for advice when they are uncertain.”
What do you find challenging about your job? “I find the breadth of medical knowledge in general practice to be quite challenging with the pool of medical information continuously widening and deepening; it can tough at times to keep up to date.”
What do you love about your job? “The most satisfying part of being a GP is making a diagnosis and treatment plan that positively changes a patient’s life.”
What is the one thing you would like to do to change the health of Australians? “I want to motivate patients to take a leading role in their own health, especially preventative healthcare.
“People regularly take their car in for a service and wouldn’t keep driving until the engine stops working before changing the oil. Yet that’s how a lot of people look after their bodies. Unfortunately, for many chronic conditions by the time symptoms develop the damage is irreversible.”
Would you recommend Primary and the Institute to other GPs and why? “Yes, I would wholeheartedly recommend Primary to other GPs and GP registrars.
“I have enjoyed my experience with Primary so far. So much so that I have chosen to stay on with Primary as I transition into a Fellow of the RACGP.”