Health outcomes for Indigenous people are sadly below those of the rest of the Australian population. This imbalance reflects the need for specialised care and a commitment to understanding and appreciating the unique cultural considerations. There is a great need for medical professionals to get involved with Aboriginal Medical Services & Indigenous Health.
National Closing the Gap day celebrates First Nations peoples and draws attention to the glaring gap between health outcomes for their communities when compared to the rest of the population.
There are so many reasons to consider working in Aboriginal Medical Services and Indigenous Health. Aside from distinctive opportunities and challenges, culturally informed healthcare workers have the opportunity to significantly improve health outcomes by strengthening cultural safety of care.
Let’s look at some of the unique reasons you should look at a career in Indigenous Health.
Challenges of working in Indigenous Health
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people have lived in Australia for millennia, creating a rich and complex history and distinct cultures. Many people groups live away from urban centres, which makes access a challenge in some areas. Healthcare professionals who work with Indigenous people groups will often need to expect travel to remote areas that can be difficult to access. It’s a setting for some very memorable adventures!
There are many tribes, cultural groups, and beliefs among Indigenous peoples, which means a health professional will need to earn their patients’ trust through being educated and sensitive to cultural differences. For example, where possible doctors will often be working with a whole family instead of an individual, and will often need to consider people’s holistic view of health – not just treating the body, but including the mind and spirit as of equal importance in good health.
Rewards of working in AMS
Indigenous health services offer a chance to make a real difference, bringing greatly needed services to vulnerable, remote, and under-served communities. There are opportunities available ranging from large practices in urban centres, to visiting the most remote communities. For positions in remote areas, health professionals will get the chance to see places that most Australians never have the opportunity to visit, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Helping with complex health needs, working with communities, and bringing healthcare and education to under-served people groups can be extremely rewarding. Many positions offer attractive remuneration and working hours as well, providing a great lifestyle for locum doctors in Indigenous health services.
How to Get Prepared
Healthcare professionals of all kinds are in demand for locum and permanent positions in AMS and Indigenous health. Specialists of all kinds, General Practitioners, psychiatrists, nurses, and more are particularly in demand, with some communities only seeing a specialist once or twice a year, if at all.
For those working in remote and rural communities, a spirit of adventure will serve you well – you’re likely to have some really special experiences in some incredible places. Health professionals who are not raised with Indigenous cultural values should educate themselves on how to communicate and work with people to gain the best health outcomes. There are plenty of excellent resources and educational opportunities available.
But genuine respect, willingness to build trust, and the desire to learn are perhaps the important qualities a doctor in Indigenous health can cultivate.
Working in Aboriginal Medical Services & Indigenous Health with Salt Medical
At Salt Medical, helping to close the gap is a cause that’s close to our heart. It’s our privilege to offer many opportunities for medical professionals wanting to work in AMS. We are also proud supporters of the Clontarf Foundation which helps young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men improve their education, life skills, self esteem, and employment prospects. Our doctors have a unique opportunity to get involved, and potentially visit one of the 131 academies that have helped support over 10,000 young indigenous men to see the incredible work this foundation is doing.
Quality healthcare for Indigenous groups can have a direct and powerful impact on individuals and their communities. Working with AMS and Indigenous Health provides a unique opportunity to assist Australia’s First Nations people to achieve good health. If you’re interested in a role that can make a significant difference in the lives of Australia’s First Nations people, Salt Medical will help you find a role in AMS and Indigenous health so you can be a part of closing the healthcare gap.
Contact us today to start your journey.