How Can I Help?
As a GP obstetrician, I work part-time in a private practice at Broadwater Medical Centre and provide obstetric services at the Busselton Health Campus, including caring for women during child-birth. I love meeting women and their partners before they conceive, or soon after, and accompanying them on their journey through pregnancy, child-birth and the postnatal period. I provide person-centred, holistic care and work closely with other practitioners who the woman chooses to include in her support team. I have a particular interest in optimising mental and emotional wellbeing through healthy nutrition, lifestyle, stress management and nurturing relationships.
As an integrative GP, I consider every patient that I see as a whole person, with a unique set of circumstances that are contributing to their overall health and specific symptoms. Rather than addressing their symptoms on face value, I look for underlying 'root causes' that are impacting on their body, mind and spirit, leading to imbalances that are showing up as symptoms in one or more of the body’s systems. I have studied Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) and integrate this ancient wisdom into my practice as appropriate. I offer testing that helps us to identify underlying imbalances, then provide person-centred management advice that addresses the underlying issues rather than purely symptom relief. I work closely with other integrative health practitioners, including naturopaths, physiotherapists, psychologists, energy healers and health coaches, to provide person-centred holistic care. I often recommend meditation, yoga, nutrition advice, sleep hygiene and relationship support as part of my management plan, as these generally will support healing no matter what the underlying problem. I involve the patient in all treatment planning, focussing on their specific health goals to guide management.
Community education is an important priority for me as a doctor. Together with Sally Gray, ND, I have developed an education program named Happy, Healthy Mums and Bubs. This 8-lesson, self-paced program has been designed to support women who are planning pregnancy or already pregnant to optimise their health and the health of their baby. Sally and I share our evidence-based and scientifically proven knowledge, resources and tools for creating extraordinary wellness and achieving your deepest desires as a Mum. This has been an exciting journey for both Sally and I, and we are delighted to be able to share this important knowledge with women who are receiving their preconception and antenatal care from Dr Sarah.
THE 8 LESSON TOPICS
Empowering Pregnancy: Where to Begin
A Medical Approach & Introduction To Mindfulness
Nourishing Mums through nutrition
Nourishing Bubs & Beyond with first foods
The Neuroscience Of Mindfulness: Overcoming The Impact Of 'Stress' On Baby
Self-Compassion for Mums
Creating a Daily Practice of Self-Care
Nourishing Wellness 'Within'
I have developed an online mindfulness-training program, which I piloted with rural medical students in 2016 and 2017. I am now evaluating the program using a randomised control trial with both urban and rural medical students from two local universities. I have recently published the findings of my 2016 data in BMC Medical Education. View my research paper below.
As a medical educator, I work with students located in the South West of Western Australia for their penultimate year of medical school. I provide teaching and clinical supervision in general practice and obstetrics and gynaecology, as well as mentorship and support. I have a particular interest in medical student self-care and teaching students to take a holistic approach to patient care. I am also passionate about compassionate health care, and have provided conference presentations to medical and nursing colleagues on how to cultivate compassion as a health care provider.
I am currently doing my Masters by Research at UWA, studying the impact of mindfulness training on medical students' stress and self-compassion levels. I have recently published my first paper "Determining the feasibility and effectiveness of brief online mindfulness training for rural medical students: a pilot study", which can be viewed here. I am also currently working on a research project evaluating the WA GP obstetrics mentoring program, and another project auditing Advance Care Plans of community members from Busselton.
My desire to give back to my community led me to create the Holistic Health Practitioner Network (HHPN), bringing together practitioners to learn about our various practices and better support our patients and clients to achieve optimal health using a holistic approach. The HHPN has hosted the South West Wellness Expo in Busselton in 2016 and 2017, and again in 2018 as the South West Wellness Festival. The Festival is a free community event aimed to raise awareness about the numerous ways to optimise health and wellbeing, as well as create a sense of connection and belonging within our community. Each event has been well attended with positive feedback from both practitioners and attendees.
Further to this, I am the GP representative on the South West Radiance Support Network. This Network was established in 2017 to connect parents to local services in the South West to support emotional well-being during early parenthood. I was involved in organising the 2017 'Act Belong Commit' Radiance Festival in Busselton as well as the inaugural 'Perinatal Mental Health Workshop' for health practitioners and community members in Perth in October 2017.
I am also passionate about informing medical students and junior doctors about the training pathways and career opportunities in GP obstetrics within Western Australia. I established the WA GP Obstetrics Network in 2014, inspired to connect GP obstetricians working in rural and remote WA, to share useful information on professional development opportunities and provide support to one another. Many rural and remote GPOs work in isolation and therefore the need for collegial support is high. I have been working together with other stakeholders to support trainees to transition into their role as autonomous GP Obstetricians and provide mentoring and career advice on a regular basis. I run regular workshops for medical students and junior doctors to provide accurate, up to date information on the training requirements and opportunities available to them.