Peter Mac is a partner in the Clinical Placement Program in Cancer Survivorship which is delivering GPs with extra skills to better care for their patients who have been through cancer treatment.

The program offers placements in over 6o speciality clinics in all tumour streams across seven organisations.

In the past 12 Months the program has enabled over 84 Primary Care Professionals to attend placements.

Placements continuing until April. 

It is available to eligible GPs who want to learn more about cancer survivorship care and is accredited with 40 Category 1 QI & CPD points.

Recently, the program team sat down with GP Iranthi to learn about her experience in the Clinical Placement Program in Cancer Survivorship.

How did you find out about the Clinical Placement Program? 

I stumbled across it on the internet in a Google search. 

Why did you want to participate in the Clinical Placement Program? 

As a new GP in the Australian setting, I was seeking more information on how to better support my patients. I hoped the program would give me more knowledge on the support available. 

Furthermore, breast cancer has been in my family and I feel GPs are well situated to help patients more if they are better educated and experienced. 

Tell us a little bit about the experience. 

It was a wonderful experience for me to see what my patient’s go through when they are referredto the (hospital) system. I saw how a multi-disciplinary team works and how patients are followed up. 

I attended clinics at The Royal Melbourne and Royal Women’s Hospitals, including Breast, gynae-oncology and a menopause symptoms clinic that had a survivorship focus. 

The staff of all the clinics were wonderful and made me feel welcome and wanting to go back for more!

What was your biggest takeaway from the program?

There is much more a GP could do for cancer survivors and there is a lot of support out there which needs to be utilized. Because of the program I am more confident in my approach to survivors.

Why do you believe survivorship is important to GPs?

Being at the grass-root level and having known our patients for years (possibly way before the cancer diagnosis) we are well placed to support the difficult journey our patients take during survivorship.

A strong patient-GP relationship would be vital for the diagnosis, treatment and survivorship of cancer patients. 

What would you say to those GPs who have not yet committed to the Clinical Placement Program?

For those GPs without much hospital experience it is a great opportunity to learn and experience the care of survivors. I can honestly say to fellow IMGs that this is a not to be missed opportunity.

Iranthi is a General practitioner with an interest in Women’s Health. 

Click here to apply for the program or call program coordinator Leisa on (03) 8559 8639 for more information.