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Dr Brittney Wicksteed, WA Rural Doctors in Training Chair

Although I have returned to work in Perth for the time being, the pull and desire to return to the country remains strong, and so do the links to those Doctors in Training across Western Australia working in leadership roles.

As the Chair of WA Rural Doctors in Training (WARDiT), I have the absolute pleasure of touching base with society leaders from the South-West, Great Southern, Midwest, Goldfields and Kimberley, alongside representatives from the AMA (WA), Rural Health West and the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) on a regular basis.

Seeing the growth of advocacy, education, wellbeing, community and leadership driven by rural doctors in training over the last few years has been incredible. There are just so many future health leaders passionate about rural health, and full of energy and motivation to improve healthcare delivery and working conditions. Hearing about the innovations, event and program delivery, camaraderie and community, and tangible improvements being made at each site is so exciting and inspiring.

In general, over the last few years doctors in training have been gaining much-deserved respect and a place at the table at all levels of organisations, and I am grateful to the AMA (WA) for actively seeking rural doctors in training to provide perspectives, advice and comments throughout various committees.

The rural viewpoint should absolutely be sought out from stakeholders, because rural doctors have different insights and a broader perspective to bring to the table. I see this not only at meetings when discussing almost any issue, but so often in the workplace. Consistently, junior doctors I work with who have completed rotations in the country, or a stint with the Rural Clinical School, approach patient care with a holistic framework, empathy, sensibility and practicality. The richness of their experiences with patients and a deep understanding of where patients come from, what their values are, and the challenges they face informs their clinical practice and attitudes in such a positive way.

For those with an interest in taking an active role in shaping the future of our profession, I highly encourage getting involved with the relevant groups – whether that’s your local doctors in training society, the AMA (WA) or the Rural Doctors’ Association of WA. There is so much potential to be part of something bigger, and it is more rewarding than I ever thought it could be.

To find out more about AMA (WA) membership packages and how to join, visit

Acknowledgement of Country