Case study: Dr Sue Masel

Dr Sue Masel

GPs need doctors too! 

Keeping our rural GPs healthy and in their community 

Dr Sue Masel has lived and worked in Goondiwindi in western Queensland for 25 years. She works as a rural GP and is incredibly connected to the town. 

Growing up in Brisbane, Sue’s passion for rural medicine was the surprising outcome of an early career placement. “In my second year, they sent me to Goondiwindi… it was more difficult than I anticipated. It could have been so much better if I had the skills and training to do it properly. So, I trained  to give me those skills, including a Diploma of Obstetrics,” Sue says.

Sue went on to complete a fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice Anaesthetics before returning to Goondiwindi for what was to be a six-month period.

Twenty five years later, Goondiwindi is where she and her husband, also a rural GP, have made their home, raised their family and are continuing to care for the community.

“We’re two of the doctors that run Goondiwindi Medical Centre.  “Rural practice is not without its challenges – one of those accessing health care for yourself. I respect the skills and experience of my colleagues. But, when it comes to my own health care, I need separation between being a doctor and a patient. So, I choose to travel to Brisbane for my own health care.

This is a 700km round trip.

 

"It takes me away from my family and my patients

And because of the need to replace me with a doctor trained in anaesthetics to be there for the community, it often means my own visit to see a GP is delayed.

Passionate about the health of our rural GPs, Sue is excited to be part of the team in Rural Doctors Foundation working  to deliver GP services to rural health practitioners with our program, GPs4RuralDocs.

Offering essential independent high-quality continuation of primary healthcare by the same doctor, rural practitioners receive a combination of in-town face to face consultations with telehealth services in between visits. The service is delivered by our team of doctors who understand rural practice and are trained in doctor-to-doctor care.

Sue understands what rural doctors face. Speaking with a GP is not only about your physical health – it is talking with someone who knows exactly what you are going through. 

Sue understands what rural doctors face every day. She knows that having your own GP is not only your physical and mental health, it is about talking with a GP who under understands exactly what you are going through.  It is that listening ear that can make all the difference.

In remote regions of Australia, GPs and health practitioners like Dr Sue Masel are travelling over 300km to receive healthcare, leaving their own communities without access to healthcare for up to a week, if not more.