When Dr Angela Glen first embarked on her medical degree, she intended to become an orthopaedic surgeon. After finding it wasn't the right fit due to high burn-out rates in the field, she pursued general practice, however she knew she wanted to retain some aspect of being hands-on in theatre.
"Becoming a GP anaesthetist has enabled me to have better work-life balance, but also participate in surgical work.
"I relocated to Geraldton in the final six months of my GP registrar training in 2014, spent the following year at Joondalup Health Campus on the anaesthetics training program, and then returned to Geraldton to practice.”
Currently working two to five days per week performing anaesthetics, Angela has recently added a new string to her bow supporting the Regional Training Hubs.
"The Hubs role is quite varied. At times, I might be mentoring students and junior doctors, promoting rural medical careers at conferences, acting as a sounding board for aspiring GP anaesthetists or representing the interests of rural training on various committees."Dr Angela Glen
“I also spend time harassing people about interns!
“Geraldton is one of the few larger regional sites that doesn’t yet have a full-year internship program. This is due to the small emergency department, which can’t currently accommodate more staff. It is due for an upgrade, however this has been delayed due to COVID.
“One of the possible solutions we have been developing with WA Country Health Service – Midwest is having interns undertake their ED rotation in Carnarvon.
“We’ve currently run a 12-month trial having an RMO in Carnarvon hospital, which has worked really well. At this stage, we will continue with the RMO model as they require less supervision than interns.
“But in time I’m aiming for that to become an intern/RMO junior doctor pair which will create vital capacity for an internship program in the region.”
Angela is also keeping a close eye on/involved in the development of the GP anaesthetics diploma.
“WA has been very successful in training GP anaesthetists; we are one of the biggest trainers across Australia and produce very good clinicians.
“Once we get some certainly around the diploma guidelines, such as supervision requirements and volume of practice, we can better assess and develop appropriate training opportunities across rural WA.
“There is one training place for GP anaesthetics in Bunbury. We have a thriving GPA workforce across the state, so there is sure to be greater capacity to support the growing cohort of aspiring rural generalists once we know what the parameters are.”
While Angela is now ensconced in the Geraldton lifestyle, she had originally anticipated working in the South West.
Image: Dr Angela Glen, GP anaesthetist based in Geraldton.
“To get into the GP anaesthetics training at Joondalup Health Campus, you needed to demonstrate an intention to work rurally. I had planned on heading to the South West, but there isn’t really a GP anaesthetics workforce there due to Bunbury and Busselton’s specialists models.
“I called in a favour from my PBL colleague, Dr Richard Taylor, whose father Dr Ian Taylor offered me a six-month placement at Panaceum during the final term of my GP training.
“When I completed my anaesthetics training, I was told I had a job waiting for me back in Geraldton and so my husband and I relocated here longer term.
“We now have a young son and it is a wonderful community in which to raise kids. Plus, the lack of commute means I can spend more time with family, friends and pursuing my hobbies.”
Dr Angela Glen is a Medical Coordinator for WA Regional Training Midwest and Goldfields Hub, for more information please contact the WA Regional Training Hubs Team at [email protected]
The Regional Training Hubs have been developed as part of the Australian Government Department of Health’s Integrated Rural Training Pipeline for Medicine (IRTP).