This is a difficult post for me to write, and I have put off writing it for far too long. Today is World Family Doctor day and it is time to put pen to paper. I have made the sad decision to leave the clinic I have been working at for the past eight years. Next week is my last clinic session at the Whole Health Medical Clinic. My family and I are moving to Sydney for a lifestyle change, to be in warmer climes and closer to the beach and surf, which we love. I am also taking a six month sabbatical from clinical work to concentrate on finishing my PhD. Juggling the clinic, a full-time PhD and a young family has taken its toll on me recently and I have to take my own advice and attend to self-care and self-preservation; my health and my relationship with my family has to take priority. I cannot replace myself at home but I can easily be replaced, I am sure, in the clinic. But in doing so, I am incredibly sad to say goodbye to my patients, and yet grateful for the lessons they have taught me.
So I just want to say, to my patients, even if you are not reading this: Thank you for the privilege of being your family doctor for the past eight years. Thank you for trusting a fresh young GP (not so fresh and young now!) with the care of your health. Thank you for the times you were patient and understanding when I ran very very late. Thank you for letting me into your lives, sharing your deepest secrets, so that I could better help you. Thank you also for taking care of me – for the kind inquiries as to how I was, the warm wishes and presents and cards when I left you for two maternity leave periods, the welcome when I came back. Thank you for the laughs together, and the times we cried together as well. A huge thank you for putting up with my frequent absences, and for the gradual reduction in clinical hours due to kids and then PhD. Thank you for “gas bagging” with me about kids, babies, parenthood and life. You have all taught me so much about life and medicine. Clinical life has been so rewarding and has given as much to me as I have to it.
I wish you all the best of health and many healthy and happy years ahead. I hope you will continue to try your best to eat well, stay active, and look after your mental health. I hope you will treat all family doctors as generously and warmly as you treated me. And thank you again, for everything.
Dr Carolyn Ee x