A General Practitioner (GP) doctor is your first contact for all non-emergency health issues.
Examples of ‘non-emergency health issues’ include:
- Ear pain / Flu / Gastro
- Minor sports injuries
- Persistent headache
- Sore throat
- Sprained ankles
- Trouble sleeping
All GPs are fully trained to treat both immediate and ongoing illnesses, and to provide preventative care and health education for all patients, regardless of their age, gender, or cultural background. They can also provide advice about many other areas of health, such as sexual health, drug and alcohol use, diet and weight control, sleep problems and mental health.
If your GP thinks you need treatment from a specialist (eg a physiotherapist, counsellor, gynaecologist, psychologist, health worker or gastroenterologist), they’ll give you a ‘referral note’ to a specialist who will be able to help you.
Finding a GP
GP offices (called GP practices) are usually open from 8.30am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.
There is a GP practice, the University Health Practice, on the University’s North Terrace campus. You can book an appointment through the University Health Practice website.
Other GP practices near you can be found through using:
Seeing a GP
- It is important to arrive at your GP appointment at least 5 minutes earlier than the scheduled time, especially if it’s your first time seeing a GP.
- Remember to take your OSHC card to all your appointments.
- When you make an appointment, it’s okay to ask for a female or male doctor if it makes you feel more comfortable.
- You can take a friend or relative with you when you see the doctor.
- If you don’t feel comfortable with the doctor you’re seeing for any reason, the next time you make an appointment you can ask to see a different doctor.
- If you feel embarrassed about having to talk to your doctor about some problems or symptoms, remember that your doctor has very likely heard everything before, and is there to help you and not judge you.
- Take your time during the appointment – once you start talking, it will get easier. It can also help to take notes into the appointment with you, so that you remember what you need to ask about.
- If your doctor says something you do not understand, it’s okay to ask for clarification
- Always tell the truth. If your doctor asks you questions about your lifestyle – for example, about your sex life or whether you have used drugs – it’s important to be honest, as it could affect your health. They won’t judge you, and what you tell them is confidential unless they think someone is at risk of serious harm.