Working as a doctor in a regional community can be a challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience, and no one knows this better than Dr Fortunato Mazzei from Springs Medical.
Born and raised in Melbourne’s north western suburbs, Dr Mazzei worked as a paramedic in the city’s western suburbs for many years, eventually working in more rural areas with Ambulance Victoria. “As I was exposed to country life and practice, I begun to realise the enjoyment of working in a rural local community and being seen as a member of a community, which can be quite hard to find in Melbourne,” he said.
“I enjoyed the community spirit and caring for local communities so much that I decided to study my medical degree at Deakin University, which is a rural medical school with a focus on rural work and supplying doctors to country regions.”
Dr Mazzei then completed his post vocational training at Ballarat Health Services, as it was close to his own community of Little Hampton, where me moved approximately nine years ago. Now the GP Registrar at Springs Medical, he chose to work at the medical clinic as it continues to allow him to provide care to his local community.
The practice has campuses in Daylesford and Trentham, meaning many of Dr Mazzei’s days are diverse and no day is the same. “Usually I start my day by working at one of these clinics and will see patients for two sessions per day. When I arrive at work I generally work on my administration tasks and review all patient results. Once this is complete, I start consulting. This is one of the most fun parts of being a doctor. I enjoy providing the best care to my patients, but I also enjoy consulting with my patients as it is a great opportunity to take a check of how they are going in life.”
This advertising feature is sponsored by Springs Medical. Click here to find out more.
There are many challenges faced by rural doctors and medical centres, including fewer resources and the distances to tertiary hospital care. “This means that on a daily basis the doctor and medical centre are required to consider very heavily the need to identify urgent conditions that required the transfer of patients to a tertiary hospital,” Dr Mazzei said. “This is very important as we need to use our local services, always remembering that our resources can be limited.”
That said, the rewards are many. “First and foremost, the greatest reward for working in a rural medical centre is that I get to see my patient in clinic when unwell, then around town when they are improving and feeling well,” Dr Mazzei said. “I find it extremely rewarding to know I’m part of healing my community.”
What would he say to a doctor considering the move to a rural clinic? “Come and give it a try, you will not be disappointed,” he said. “My day is extremely diverse and I utilise most of my skills on a daily basis. This can be from plastering fractures and suturing wounds, to supplying emergency care to a patient with severe asthma. But the most important thing is that I’m supplying medical care to my community.”