Meet Dr Cath Hester. Cath started her medical career at Ipswich Hospital in 2006 as an intern and says one of the best things about being a GP is helping to prevent people from getting sick.
How long have you been practicing in the West Moreton region?
I've worked in Ipswich for a long time. My first ever job was at the Subway in Brisbane Street back in 1996. Later, I worked as a student engineer at Ipswich Water, and then started my medical career at Ipswich Hospital in 2006 as an intern. After working away in Brisbane and Cloncurry for a couple of years it was nice to return to Ipswich to do my GP registrar training, and I've stayed working in the area since.
What draws you to live/work in Ipswich?
Mostly my family. It is my community and my place, and although I like travelling, it is always nice to have a place that is home.
What made you choose to become a GP?
Don't tell anyone, but my favourite show growing up was A Country Practice...I idolised Dr Elliot - his caring nature, calm under pressure, and his centrality to the community he lived in. My teddy bears were the subject of all sorts of medical procedures - vaccinations, and even an emergency appendicectomy on one occasion. I don't think I could be anything other than a GP.
In relation to primary healthcare, what are you most optimistic about?
One of the best parts of being a GP is preventing people from getting sick, so it's great to see more vaccinations being routinely available - they remain one of the simplest, safest and most cost-effective ways to keep communities well. I'm so happy to see the 9-valent HPV vaccination, meningitis ACWY, and the influenza vaccinations being available to children on the routine schedule now.
Are there any particular initiatives or items of interest that you have implemented in your practice that you would like to share with your peers?
Many people spend more 'awake' time at work than at home, so I think having a healthy workplace is very important. We try to keep physically and mentally healthy in our workplace. We don't do anything elaborate, but we schedule lunches together every day for the whole team, have morning yoga sessions, lunch walks and have a bit of fun on Thursdays when we wear cartoon scrubs to work. We also have lots of plants and natural light in our rooms, something which is hard to come by in many medical clinics!
If you were to describe yourself using an animal, which animal would you be and why?
Definitely an Italian Greyhound. Our two certainly seem to have their priorities sorted.