Two decades of community service
Family Doctor Week
Australian Capital Territory – Dr Rashmi Sharma OAM
About 20 years ago, Dr Rashmi Sharma opened a medical practice in the southern suburbs of Canberra with her sister Divya.
Today, the Isabella Plains Medical Centre is a thriving practice and Dr Sharma is a recipient of the Order of Australia Medal.
She is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Australian National University’s Medical School, the head of education for GP Synergy, sits on numerous Government committees and, as a Practice Principal at Isabella Plains Medical Centre, regards herself as a portfolio GP.
“I think the joy of general practice is the privilege of joining with some of your patients through their lives with them,” Dr Sharma said.
“Of the all the caps I wear, general practice is the one thing I enjoy the most. Sitting in a little consultation room with a patient is very satisfying. It keeps me grounded
“I have been in this practice about two decades – I started it with my sister who is also a GP. I have seen patients grow up and start families.
“I bumped into a patient on the street the other day and I hadn’t seen them for some years, yet I remembered the condition of their child. We have patients for life.
“And we are not just looking after patients, we are looking after the community. We have been looking after the southern parts of Canberra for two decades. We have second and third generation patients.”
As the head of education at for GP Synergy, Dr Sharma has had to spend considerable periods in New South Wales, looking after about 200 registrars the provider is training.
In recent times, she relocated to Northern New South Wales where she grew up. But that has not stopped her work in Canberra.
“I couldn’t give up my practice in Canberra. I only do general practice in Canberra,” she said.
“So, I kind of fly-in fly-out, but so much of my medical work is in Canberra.
“Some days I might see 30 patients in the clinic. We have a lot of nurses too who do a great job. We started this clinic and went from four doctors to 17 doctors, and from no nurses to seven nurses. We feel very proud of what we have been able to do for this community.”