Olivia was easily swayed into the GP world when working as a trainee intern in Te Puia Springs. She tells us the full story and lots more.
Olivia and her GP supervisor had taken a drive out to the beautiful Tokomaru Bay for a morning clinic. Her supervisor had suggested a chat over lunch about general practice as a career.
The surf distracted him and the conversation never happened. Olivia was given his keys, and the task of finding the two some lunch while he surfed.
She spent her lunch break watching him catch waves for an hour and then rushed back to his clinic where he conducted his first few consultations in his wetsuit. His patients agreed, the surf out there was too good to miss.
The conversation as such never happened, but Oliva was still sold. “It was the best 'chat' I ever had about being a GP. It was a major selling point for me. It was a beautiful integration of collegiality, professionalism and personal lives,” Olivia adds.
“Of course the context will have to be adapted to the culture and place. I doubt consulting in wetsuits would fly in Christchurch, where I’m based now.”
Olivia’s days now are filled with interesting stories from her family and patients; she also looks forward to a small moment of silence with a hot cup of tea.
As well as being a GP, Olivia is also a mother and wife. Her typical day includes, “Meal preparations, repeating instructions to a small child, household chores, seeing about 20 patients, and perhaps attend a meeting after dinner.”
That’s a lot to fit into one day. However with all that in tow, Olivia is still able to provide the three most important skills to being a GP each day. She sees these as having, “The ability to listen, observe, and make decisions promptly and with conscientiousness.”
With such a great summary, we have to ask Olivia to give us three reasons that she would recommend general practice as a career. And she tells us the same three reasons, almost like a mantra of sorts, “If you love people, if you love people, if you love people.”
As a GP, Olivia is particularly interested in education, research in general practice, general practice business, patient portals and children’s and women’s health. She did precede this with, “I think I have too many interests.” And called these her, ‘main ones’.
With all of these interests, a busy career and a family to boot, Oliva still finds the time to enjoy herself on the weekends.
“You would either find me pottering in the garden or in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Occasionally, I can be found at a child’s birthday party or the after-hours surgery.”
Olivia has a love for cooking and photography and sometimes she even combines the two, “I sometimes take photographs of the food I make… Just sometimes.”
Olivia takes the time to really thank her strong support team who helped her gain her Fellowship and continue to support her now.
She thanks her husband, “I couldn’t do what I do without his love and support.”
Olivia’s mother helped Olivia and her husband with childcare while she was completing her GPEP training.
Olivia adds, “Of course, not forgetting the ongoing support of my peer group members, GPEP teachers and facilitators, colleagues met whilst undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma in General Practice, staffs at Kaiapoi Medical Centre, and everyone at the Department of General Practice, Christchurch. You all know who you are.”