I was born in England and migrated to Australia as a 10-pound Pom, although I was then three and my parents were the 10-pound Poms. As a GP, I started doing a bit of aged care. I found I liked it, and the patients liked me, and it grew from there — to the point where I was looking after two-thirds of the patients at two nursing homes. At that stage, I left the practice I was with and moved into one of those nursing homes and established a solo practice. Concentrating on one age group is satisfying for me. Learning their histories, their stories from before they were incapacitated, is actually quite fascinating. These are real people, and I think that’s often forgotten. Discovering that sort of stuff is fascinating, and it motivates you a bit more to help them. I am afflicted with fairly severe arthritis. I’ve had two knee replacements. I’m physically unable to work full-time, but as long as I can do this, then I do it. It’s an area of great need. I am appreciated, and respected, and needed. And I can still do it. I need to keep moving. When you’ve got arthritis, you need to keep moving.

Dr Maureen McCluskey
Canberra, ACT