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Four GP Registrars awarded Bursaries


Four GP Registrars awarded Bursaries

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Four GP Registrars will receive financial assistance for training and research under the first bursaries to honour the legacy of General Practice Training Queensland (GPTQ).

Following the transfer of GP training back to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), GPTQ was dissolved as an organisation this year.

AMA Queensland Foundation successfully applied for funding to continue the GPTQ legacy with a $20,000 training and research bursary.

Drs Sarah Andela, Joshua Faint, Nicholas Snels, and Kellie West are the inaugural recipients of the AMA Queensland Foundation GPTQ Training and Research Bursary.

“So many Queensland GPs came through GPTQ and they make up such an important part of our workforce,” AMA Queensland President Dr Maria Boulton said.

“That legacy is recognised through this bursary and the support it provides to GPs. The bursary aims to increase the quality of healthcare and attract and retain GPs in areas of need.”

Dr Sarah Andela

Moving to Far North Queensland almost two years ago to begin ACRRM training, Dr Sarah Andela works as a GP registrar in Cairns. Growing up in rural New Zealand in the remote town of Whangarei, she has seen the difficulties her family have in accessing health care, driving her passion for rural health.

This year, she has been working part time across two roles, serving the community as a PHO at Mareeba Hospital, and working at the Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisation in Cairns (Wuchopperen Health Service) where she will continue full time in 2024.  

She will use the bursary money to attend events and training prioritising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, LGBTQI+ and adolescent health, while she continues to work towards a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at JCU.

“Throughout the last two years I have often been deterred from courses and conferences due to fees. It would be great to use the bursary money to be able to attend these sorts of events.”

Dr Joshua Faint

As a first year GP registrar, Dr Joshua Faint dedicates his time to the underserved community in Maryborough at Mansour Medical Clinic. Passionate about his local community, Dr Faint also works as youth pastor at Hervey Bay Church, and for local emergency departments.

This has allowed him to develop incredible relationships with his patients. He wants to expand his medical knowledge and, subsequently, his ability to provide to his patients.

“I love working with patients in a longitudinal way where the relationship established between doctor and patient becomes a leverage point to encourage positive change in the life of a patient.”

Dr Faint is planning to complete an advanced skill in emergency medicine after finishing his GP fellowship with the goal to provide emergency care to communities. He also seeks to upskill in dermatology and skin cancer management. The bursary will provide significant financial support for him to further his study and training, while still working as a youth pastor.

Dr Nicholas Snels

Dr Nicholas Snels, a GP registrar currently working on Waibene (Thursday Island), has shown great commitment to rural general practice, dedicating his career to serving rural communities in Australia.

Dr Snels worked as a locum in 2020 and as a tutor through Rural Medical Education to gain more rural and remote experience and has come to appreciate the unique role a rural GP plays in their community.

Having witnessed the challenges faced by rural Australians, Dr Snels is planning to use the bursary to pursue further personal development to meet the needs of his community by moving to a tertiary centre in Townsville to complete the DipRGA and his MPHTM, driving positive healthcare change for areas who need it most.

“I truly believe due to the importance rural GPs have to their communities, it is imperative they are up to date with current medical knowledge, and therefore, the importance of continuing medical education cannot be understated.”

Dr Kellie West

Growing up in Rockhampton then moving to Sydney to study, Dr Kellie West has now returned to regional Queensland after 10 years, settling in Yeppoon with her family.

Raising two young children, with her son living with a rare congenital limb difference which has required extensive medical care, the quality of rural healthcare remains of critical importance to Dr West and her family. 

Through her personal and professional experience, Dr West has come to deeply value quality rural healthcare and sought ways she can dedicate her skills to addressing the needs of her community through further research.

With an advanced skill in academic practice as part of her ACRRM training, Dr West is enrolled in a PhD at Monash University part time. With the goal to work as a clinical GP who uses research to contribute to the health of her local community, Dr West will use this bursary towards research and training with a strong equity focus.

“I deeply resonated with the ACRRM motto: 'The right doctors, in the right places, with the right skills, providing rural and remote people with excellent healthcare.'”