And the Ochre Dr Trivia Winner is... GP Debra Wardle

By , Hedgie Gundry published on 14/10/2020 Locum work, Recruitment, Rural Generalism,

Our fun Dr. Trivia Quiz Game has now ended ... and we have a winner! Huge congratulations to Ochre Health Locum GP Debra Wardle who took home a cool $5,000. In our latest Ochre blog, we chat with Debra about her recent locum adventures and how she’s planning to spend her well-deserved prize money.

Firstly, congratulations from all of us here at Ochre. Is this the first time you’ve won a prize like this?
Would you believe I've never won a proper competition before. Other than $100 or so on the Lotto 30 years ago and the occasional local raffle over the years, that’s been about it.

What inspired you to become a GP?
It was just something I always wanted to do from grade one at school. I’ve never regretted it and I still love the job. I studied at the University of Queensland and trained at Royal Brisbane Hospital. I've worked as a GP in Cleveland for most of my career and then about six years ago, I looked into rural generalist locuming and haven't looked back. I love it.

What is it in particular that you love about being a rural generalist?
Having been in general practice for so long, the new challenges of locuming as a rural generalist really keep me on my toes. You have to be adaptable. You get great support from tertiary hospitals and from your staff. It feels good to be part of a small community.

How do you structure your locums?
For the last five or six years I’ve worked for two weeks on at the Cherbourg Regional Aboriginal & Islander Community Controlled Health Services and then four weeks off. I always enjoy my time in Cherbourg and then I head somewhere else – usually Tasmania.

Where’s your favourite Ochre Health practice?
I honestly like them all but Queenstown in Tasmania has to be my favourite. It’s where I started and I've made some really good friends there. It’s a great practice, with great staff and I always feel welcome. It's an old mining town so the locals are pretty stalwart - when they come in, it’s not for a medical certificate, it’s because they're really sick. And very genuine. This is another very rewarding thing about rural generalist work. It's lovely. Also, if you go back time and time again, the locals recognise you and are so friendly. It's just a good feeling.

What advice would you give to GPs who are considering their first rural GP locum?
Have a go. It's great fun. Be prepared to adapt to different situations. It's not like general practice -  some things you take for granted you might not have available. But it's very rewarding. You get to see real people in real situations and you get paid for it. And you make friends. I've made quite a few long-term friends now. And rural communities are always so grateful and make you feel welcome.

Dr Debra Wardle

What do you like about working for Ochre?
The Ochre Recruitment team is just great and there’s always a real feeling of belonging. The consultants understand my interests and know where I might want to go. They're trustworthy and ethical and that's very important to me. I've never had a bad placement because the Ochre Health clinics are run so well. Again, they're ethical and have the patient at heart. I’m very happy with Ochre.

How will you spend your prize money?
I’m not completely sure yet but I think I’d like to take my family down to the Gold Coast for a holiday. I have three adult children and that would be wonderful. I’d like to extend a very big thank you to Ross, Hamish, and John at Ochre Health for this prize and for being such a great company to work for.

Thanks to you to Debra for all your work and enjoy your prize.


And a special thanks to everyone who participated in our quiz game. We hope to bring you some more fun promotions in the new year.

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