“I wanted to do cardiology from day one, but between 2014-2017, I was persistently doing nights and when I went to sit my physician exam in 2018 I realised that I was about to commit to a heavy lifestyle.”
“My husband always used to say ‘You’re never home, you used to attend parties but now you’re always at work.’ One day I had to pick my daughter up from daycare at 6:00, but I didn’t get there until 7:30 because of my cardiology training.”
“That was a major dramatic point for me – I actually had a big cry and I had this mother’s guilt, which motivated me to start GP training. I decided that I couldn’t continue this way.”
It was a change that brought about a better sense of purpose and reward.
“I found general practice absolutely rewarding – in seven years at the hospital, I never got the feeling that someone was appreciating me like they do as a GP.”
Now practising in Jindalee, 25 kilometres north of Perth’s CBD, the close proximity to the beach requires a very specific set of skills, says
“I see a lot of skin cancers and water related issues because we have such beautiful beaches. Every other person is usually coming in for a skin check or skin related issues from being at the beach. For example, dermatitis; especially Phytophotodermatitis, which you get from sunlight.”
“I have lots of patients who are surfers. When I started working in this clinic, a lot of them were coming in for skin checks, which was strange to me. They would say to me ‘Hi doc, can you check my mole on the back?’ They are mostly aware of what’s going on with their health, they’re very educated in themselves, with what they have to do and what steps they have to take.”
“And then I got the history. There was a popular young surfer who died from a melanoma on the sole of his foot and he didn’t know that he had a mole sitting there. So when one of my first patients came to see me and asked me about his mole, it caught me a bit off guard because I didn’t know much about using the dermatoscope. But I checked it, and noticed that there was something strange about the mole. So I sent him to one of my bosses from the hospital I used to work at and they found the melanoma.”
“At that point, I decided that I should have a basic knowledge for the dermatoscope and I completed a skin cancer course as well. Now I have my own dermatoscope and I do my own skin checks. Obviously I’m not a skin cancer doctor, but if I get a patient, I can help.”
According to Dr Adnan, helping others and providing assistance is at the heart of her core values and is second nature.
“I always want to help people – if there is someone who is having an issue in the middle of the street, I’ll stop and help. Even if I wasn’t a doctor, I would probably do that, it’s just my personality”, she said.
“I always used to read emails from my RLO and when they explained what we were doing, that’s what attracted me to get into it. I was interested in how we could be the voice of the registrars, how to get involved with helping someone with their issues.”
It was the generosity and patience of a former WAGPET RLO that was experienced first hand that sparked the flame for the position, says Dr Adnan.
“In June 2020, my RLO Sam Ognenis helped by showing me a few things like how to check your own billings, how to check your reports and things like that. So Sam was very helpful to me”.
“I was amazed that a registrar can do that because all the registrars are busy. Sam spoke to me for half an hour and he explained everything to me – sometimes we don’t want to give others our time so generously. I thought I should do something like that, giving a bit of guidance and a helping hand appealed to me – so that’s what made me interested”, she said.
These articles, from our GPFirst magazine, are aimed at inspiring the next generation of GPs by sharing real stories of working in practice.