Dr Ros Bullock
Local Champion – Dr Ros Bullock
“I’m really lucky because I do a lot of freelance work. I choose not to tie myself down to any particular employer, so I contract my services in consulting, teaching, theatre work such as colonoscopies and gastroscopies, on call emergency work and some advocacy with The Rural Doctors’ Network as well… there is no shortage of work out here.” – Dr Ros Bullock
At just 35 years old, Dr Ros Bullock has created a lifestyle for herself that allows time with her husband and three young children, and a high level of job satisfaction as a busy rural health professional.
Originally from Canberra, Ros knew from the age of five that she wanted to be a doctor. She studied medicine at Adelaide University where she participated in the John Flynn Placement Program ( www.acrrm.org.au ), a scheme whereby medical students spend a minimum of two weeks per year for four years in a rural practice. Funded by the Department of Health, the JFPP aims to attract more doctors to rural and remote areas.
“I was assigned to Maitland in South Australia and it was there that I realised I wanted to do community medicine, specifically rural medicine,” recalls Ros. “Then, through a series of fortunate events, I got another scholarship that gave me a two year bonded cadetship through the NSW Rural Doctors’ Network ( www.nswrdn.com.au ). I met my husband, who is from Bourke, and it was then a very easy decision to go to the country. So, from Adelaide I went to Orange Base for two years and did my hospital training and then we went to Canowindra.”
Ros believes she can make a real difference to lives by working in a rural community.
“It’s the cradle to grave thing,’’ she says, echoing a sentiment shared by many rural health practitioners. “It was the first time I’d ever seen kids, then parents, then grandparents and put the connections together.”
After graduating, Ros spent two in the hospital system and seven working in general practice with her own patient base. Following the birth of her third child, she relinquished her patient base and, with an established reputation in the region, became a “freelancer”. Her work is now flexible and varied.
“For that last three months, for example, I’ve been going to Grenfell two days a week to help set up a new practice. I also teach and look after the registrars in Cowra, Canowindra, Parkes and Forbes.”
“The variety is amazing out here.”
“I teach piano on a Thursday, and am involved with the local playgroup. It’s a whole lot of juggling but I’m just so lucky, I’m never short of people to look after the kids because of the friends that we’ve built up here. Rural medicine really is a choose-your-own-adventure story.”