Whether you only visit a GP when you’re struck down by the flu, or you have an ongoing or chronic medical condition that requires more frequent check-ups, finding a doctor you can trust is important.
A good GP (or general practitioner) does more than diagnose illnesses and write medical certificates. They provide specialist referrals, monitor your progress, keep an eye out for problems that you may not have noticed, and play an important role in your overall health and wellbeing.
But what qualities make a great GP, and where can you find the best in Canberra? Let’s take a closer look.
What makes a good and reliable doctor?
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a new GP.
- Accreditation. Your chosen GP should be up-to-date with the latest developments in general practice. Look for a GP that is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), which indicates they have completed special training and professional development. A practice accredited against RACGP standards is also ideal.
- Personality and approach. Look for a GP whose personality is compatible with your own. You might prefer someone who is calm, clear and warm compared to a doctor with a more matter-of-fact, direct approach.
- Billing options. If you don’t want any out of pocket expenses, find a practice that bulk bills patients. For more in-depth consultations that don’t feel rushed, however, you may be better off choosing a practice where you pay a private fee.
- Type of practice. A smaller neighbourhood practice might suit you if it’s close to home or work, and you appreciate seeing the same GP at each visit. Larger practices, on the other hand, may offer extra services under one roof (like pathology or x-rays) have extended opening hours and a wider range of appointment times because more doctors are available.
- Thorough and attentive to detail. Your chosen GP should be well-versed in a range of medical complaints and procedures. They should be happy to work through different tests and treatments until you find what works for you, and they shouldn’t mind explaining symptoms, tests and treatments.
The top doctors in Canberra – according to you
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
If you have a medical emergency rather than an ongoing situation, you may not be worried about being able to see the same doctor over the long-term.
In this case, the National Health Co-op (formerly West Belconnen Co-op) might be a good choice. Online bookings are available.
Past patients recommend this surgery because it has “amazing doctors”.
User experience tells us that “they usually come over from England for 12 months” at a time, though they are well-trained and cheap to visit.
Dr Felicity Donaghy is principal of Garema Place Surgery, which is also highly recommended by RiotACT readers.
Dr Donaghy has worked in general practice since 1990 and graduated from Sydney University. She is available for appointments on weekdays.
Here’s what one patient had to say about Dr Donaghy: “I’ve seen many doctors in my long life and Felicity is one of the best in my opinion. She is highly competent and displays compassion for and interest in her patients.”
Dr Michael Gan, Dr Sandy Vitikos and Dr Prad Southi at Palmerston Medical Centre’s come highly rated from readers.
Dr Southi, for example, is “phenomenal with kids,” as well as “patient, attentive and not afraid to admit that his previous suspicions were wrong.”
Dr Vitikos is “super friendly” while Dr Gan has “a lot of certificates on his wall” thanks to his extensive experience and study.
Palmerston Medical Centre is open Monday to Saturday.
Your experience with doctors in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the doctors listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.