Community spotlight: Derby Aboriginal Health Service

Posted on 21st Aug 2020

Q: What is life and work like in Derby?
A: Derby is a small Kimberley town with a great character. It is 220km north of Broome and is situated on the King Sound, surrounded by mudflats. Derby locals can experience all sorts of community events, camping, fishing and the beauty of the Kimberley. The work is challenging and rewarding, but there is plenty of time adventure out-of-hours.

Q: What can a registrar expect from a placement at Derby Aboriginal Medical Service (DAHS)?
A: A registrar can expect that they will have an adventure in Derby. From a training perspective, it is a well-supervised adventure. Our registrars have the opportunity to treat adults with complex conditions, see children with multiple medical problems, assess and treat conditions which are rare in other parts of Australia and fly to remote clinics. DAHS emphasises opportunistic and preventive care, with an emphasis on Aboriginal health. There is also a great opportunity to get to know Aboriginal staff and patients and be part of an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.

Q: What is the best part of training GP registrars?
A: We really enjoy getting to know our registrars and seeing them mature and grow in their medical practice. We also love receiving their input in areas where they have expertise.

Q: What drives DAHS to be involved in GP training?
A: DAHS has been involved in training the future rural workforce for many years and at many levels, including medical students, Aboriginal health work students, junior doctors and GP registrars. The vision of our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service is to have a local accessible and culturally acceptable service to provide for the needs of the people of Derby and surrounds. However, our vision also extends to training the next generation of health care staff who can provide gold standard care in the Aboriginal Health sector more broadly. As a team working with trainees in a number of disciplines, we work together to hone junior staff into health workers who enjoy working in a collaborative fashion, with an eye for the broader health picture. In addition, the presence of trainees at any level enlivens and enriches our service.