Rural Medicine advocate: Meet Dr Tom Dawson

26 March 2018

Category: Rural


Dr Tom Dawson is a rural bloke working in rural medicine. He’s a few weeks out from finishing his GPEP training, and hopes to complete his Division of Rural Hospital Medicine Fellowship by the end of the year. He recently shared some of his thoughts about what makes rural practice special with us.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I grew up in a small town – Morrinsville – now famous for being home to our new Prime Minister. I guess it’s not too surprising that I’ve ended up living and working in a smaller town.

I’m currently working for a VLCA practice in Whanganui, but am about to shift to Hawera Hospital.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with an amazing team of people, who are all really supportive of each other. One of the things I enjoy most about work is that our team members recognise each other’s strengths and skills, and by working well together we are able to deliver seamless, effective care to our patients. It’s very satisfying.

What attracted you to rural medicine?

The lifestyle is definitely a big drawcard. I have a young family and by living in a small community, we’re able to live by the beach and still be close to work. If there’s bad traffic on my morning commute, I get delayed by about 30 seconds!

About the rural hospital training:

The training has been amazing. I’ve get to do a bit of everything because you never know what’s going to come through the door. I’ve been able to do a lot of high level procedural clinical work and, while the academic component of the training has been challenging, it’s definitely been valuable.

Benefits of general practice and rural hospital medicine:

There’s so much opportunity to extend yourself. You never know what conditions you’re going to be faced with, and sometimes you’re working with limited resources, so you often have to extend yourself. It’s clinically satisfying and rewarding seeing the impact your work has on the lives of your patients.