Doc­tors have right script for re­gions

Broome Advertiser - - News - Jakeb Wad­dell

An up-and-com­ing Broome doc­tor, who ad­mits he “hates the spot­light”, could not help but bask in the praise last week as he was crowned one of the State’s best.

Kim­ber­ley Abo­rig­i­nal Med­i­cal Ser­vice GP-in-train­ing James Wong flew to Perth last week­end for the WA Coun­try Doc­tors Awards, where he was named most out­stand­ing new ru­ral doc­tor.

Dr Wong, 28, said it felt great to be recog­nised in a room full of ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als.

“It was re­ally amaz­ing when they called my name, just a nice feel­ing,” he said. “There were a lot of peo­ple at the awards who had ac­com­plished many things in their life­time, so I was able to gain a lot of in­spi­ra­tion dur­ing the evening.”

Dr Wong said while the recog­ni­tion was ex­cel­lent, his true re­ward came through the ex­pe­ri­ence he has gained work­ing in Broome.

“You learn so much by work­ing in a ru­ral town with such a closely net­worked com­mu­nity,” he said.

“There are so many chal­lenges that come with work­ing in Broome but, as a doc­tor, I am ex­posed to so much more than I would be if I was based in a big city.

“While it can be hard at times, it has al­lowed me to pick up the nec­es­sary skills much, much quicker and I am very grate­ful.”

Ru­ral Health West chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Shack­le­ton said Dr Wong de­served the ac­claim be­cause of his ex­cel­lent clin­i­cal skills, as well as the em­pa­thy and rap­port he had with pa­tients.

“Dr Wong works hard and is pre­pared to go the ex­tra mile,” he said.

“He is the epit­ome of the re­spected coun­try doc­tor and we look for­ward to watch­ing his ru­ral med­i­cal ca­reer progress.”

Broome’s Me­lanie Pount­ney was also recog­nised for two decades of ser­vice to coun­try health.

Dr Pount­ney had worked as a GP for 20 years in a num­ber of North West hos­pi­tals, in­clud­ing Derby and Port Hed­land, and re­cently worked at Broome Re­gional Abo­rig­i­nal Med­i­cal Ser­vice.

WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice chief ex­ec­u­tive Jeff Mof­fet com­mended Dr Pount­ney on her achieve­ment and com­mit­ment.

The awards were held by RHW and WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice.

Broome doc­tors Me­lanie Pount­ney and James Wong were recog­nised at the WA Coun­try Doc­tors' Awards.

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