When I finally passed my RACGP fellowship exams, it was sort of like winning gold at the Olympics. Not that I’m an athlete, but after all I had been through, it was a recognition of the years of hard work, training and time away from family. It felt like I finally belonged. I thought, “Right, now I am a part of this thing.” I came from Malaysia in 2006, with my partner and baby. We didn’t have any intention of staying, but, after a couple of months, we liked Australia a lot and decided to stay on. For the first four years, I worked in Bundaberg Hospital in Queensland, and later in Brisbane. I then left public hospitals to do locum work in Alice Springs, Broken Hill and a few rural locations around Queensland. By mid-2011, I’d applied to be on the college’s general practice program, and was lucky enough to be accepted. Being an IMG, I was on the rural pathway. My first job was in Dalby, and every week I would drive home to Brisbane. When I finally got back to Brisbane in 2014, I got my fellowship and my moratorium was coming to an end. It is a tough road for IMGs. I have seen many colleagues give up along the way and go back to their country, or change careers. They faced so many hurdles and were unable to get through all of them. If you want to be a GP, you need to seek guidance from the college and have the determination to get where you want to be. But it’s worth it in the end.

Dr Kah Ho
Underwood, Qld