Emergency Department Dr Fiona Liew (left) and Dr (HMO) Karunya Yogheswaran (right) chat with patient John Jolley at West Gipps Hospital
WGHG Emergency Department Specialist Consultant Dr Fiona Liew (left) and Junior Dr (HMO) Karunya Yogheswaran (right) chat with patient John Jolley of Warragul in the Emergency Department.
Junior doctors benefit from new communications training

West Gippsland Healthcare Group (WGHG) newest doctors have settled into their placements at the Hospital in Warragul.

The first–year doctors have immersed themselves into the day-to-day life of caring for patients and working alongside medical and healthcare staff to build their experience, confidence and expertise.

WGHG Co-Director of Emergency Medicine Training, Dr Anne Creaton, said this year, junior doctors would benefit from an additional education project introduced in the Emergency Department focusing on teaching them communication skills to improve patient outcomes.

The six month pilot project is in collaboration with the Monash University School for Rural Health and the Centre for Organisational Change in Person Centred Healthcare, Deakin University.

Five senior Emergency Department doctors are undertaking specialist training to teach communication skills to new doctors who rotate through the department.

Dr Creaton said communication lies at the heart of every doctor patient interaction.

“Knowing what to say, and how to say it to a patient or their carer in a way that is sensitive and in words they can understand is a crucial part of healthcare and emergency medicine. This project provides junior doctors with mentoring support to hone their communication skills at this formative stage of their careers.”

With an Australia-wide shortage of rural general practitioners (GPs), WGHG plays an important role in providing quality training for new doctors, enabling them to rotate between emergency medicine, anaesthetics, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology to build their skills and experience.

“Many go on to become GP’s, but the training experience is valuable in all areas of medicine.”

“For doctors trained overseas, WGHG’s Emergency Department is often their first job in Australia,” Dr Creaton said.

“WGHG is attracting new doctors to train at Warragul by offering education that incorporates simulation, high level support and supervision by emergency training specialists.”

For media inquiries contact WGHG’s Public Relations Manager on  03 5623 0600.


Emergency Department Dr Fiona Liew (left) and Dr (HMO) Karunya Yogheswaran (right) chat with patient John Jolley at West Gipps Hospital