With a passion for medicine and love for the region, the decision to relocate to Mudgee from Tamworth several months ago has proven to be the right one for Dr Melissa Price-Purnell.
While her days are always jam-packed due to her ability to work in many facets of medicine as a general practitioner (GP), Dr Price-Purnell 'wouldn't have it any other way'.
"Through my training with GP Synergy, I found that I liked a bit of everything and really didn't want to be limited to one aspect of medicine," Dr Price-Purnell said.
"I found that being a rural generalist means I can be involved in basically every facet of medicine.
"If I want to work in emergency, I can work in emergency. If I want to deliver babies, I can deliver babies. If I want to work with kids, I can do that.
"There's really not an area of medicine I don't work in which means that my days are never the same, it keeps me busy.
"While it can be tricky to organise my roster and at times you can find me running back and forth from Mudgee Medical Centre to the hospital, I wouldn't have it any other way."
The idea of working in Mudgee first piqued Dr Price-Purnell's interest when she was in medical school.
I've fallen in love with the town.Dr Melissa Price-Purnell
Having always identified Mudgee as a 'great' town, Dr Price-Purnell was delighted to realise just how much of an ideal fit the location would be for her lifestyle and the continuation of her training as a rural generalist.
"Way back when I was in medical school at the University of Wollongong, every year we sent students out to Mudgee and I was unlucky enough not to be sent but I had always heard good things about this town," she said.
"I spoke to some of the doctors here and realised not only is the town great, but the type of medicine and work life balance here is really good.
"So I came here and I've fallen in love with the town. It seems to be the right decision for me."
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Caring for residents since February, Dr Price-Purnell looks forward to more time in the region.
"It's been busy being one of two female obstetricians in town but I have really adapted to the Mudgee lifestyle quite well," she said.
"It's a really supportive working arrangement that I have both at the clinic and at the hospital.
"The community is very supportive knowing that I am an obstetrician. If I'm running late my patients in general practice are always happy to wait or move appointments."
Dr Price-Purnell is one of 97 GP trainees located across the Western Region, with five in Mudgee, according to GP Synergy CEO, Georgina van de Water.
"On average a typical full time equivalent GP trainee will see more than 5180 consultations a year, making a significant contribution to primary health care," Mrs van de Water said.
"Doctors training through the AGPT program are well supported with local delivery by medical education teams, and supervision from accredited local GPs, like those at Mudgee Medical Centre."
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