Antarctic dream drives Murray Bridge’s newest doctor

Elyse Marx grew up locally, now she's practising locally. But she has her eyes set on a more remote location.

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Elyse Marx has already been through nine years of medical training – and that was the easy part.

Although she has only started work in her home town, Murray Bridge’s newest doctor has already set her sights on her next goal.

She dreams of working as a doctor in Antarctica.

“It’s a bit daunting, but it would be a great experience,” she said.

“In Antarctica everyone is usually healthy and aged 20 to 50 ... (and) they’re well equipped down there, but not as well equipped as at the RAH (Royal Adelaide Hospital).

“I’ve always tried to challenge myself a bit.”

Dr Marx is one of two GP registrars, or early-career doctors, to have started at Bridge Clinic this month.

She hoped working in Murray Bridge, where GPs filled a variety of roles both at their clinics and in the hospital, would help her develop the independence she would need in her dream job.

She said patients had given her a lot of positive feedback since she started in general practice last February, right as COVID was arriving in Australia.

She looked forward to being a positive force in the town where she had grown up.

GP registrars are fully qualified doctors, but typically work under the supervision of a more senior colleague for the first few years of their careers.

Ninety GP registrars have started vocational placements this year through GP training organisation GPEx.

GPEx chief executive officer Stephanie Clota said those who trained in regional and rural clinics were 35 per cent more likely to practise in the country for every 10 weeks they spent on placement.