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On her most recent trip to Sydney, Martina had the opportunity to catch up with Sneha, one of our superstar GPs from the UK. Sneha has been living in Australia for 2 years now and is loving the opportunities that are open to her and the lifestyle she and her family can now enjoy.

Watch our Q&A 

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Martina: So how long have you been living in Sydney?

Sneha: I’ve been living in Sydney now for nearly two years. Having moved from England in Hertfordshire and I love it.

Martina: And you’re living here on the beach in Coogee?

Sneha: Yeah, we live about a 10-minute walk from the beach. Yesterday was Monday and finished work, husband finished work and had dinner and came for a walk on the beach and ate ice-cream on a Monday night. I don’t think I would have ever done that in England.

Martina: What’s work like in Australia? Are you finding it stressful?

Sneha: Not at all. In a word, it’s fabulous! I get to enjoy all the benefits of being a doctor, loving my clinical work, and I see lots of pathologies, but I don’t have any of the politics. And also, any extra services like visits and telephone calls are at my discretion.  And of course, I can charge for those as well. So, that makes me very happy in terms of job satisfaction and my career, generally. I think there’s also some other things; I have developed my career in ways I didn’t think I would ever do. I’ve developed some fantastic clinical skills and been afforded some great opportunities to develop my career, which I don’t think would have been open to me in the UK. So, that’s all very exciting too.

Martina: And I understand that you’ve just won an award from the University of New South Wales for your work with medical students.

Sneha: I have indeed. [chuckles] That was a welcome surprise, actually. It’s not something I applied for. It’s not something I even knew anything about. But yes, I teach medical students at the clinic. It’s something that I’ve done for years back in the UK,  and here apparently they said nice things about me which are quite nice really. And I was surprised to be told I’d been awarded the University of New South Wales Primary Care Supervisor of the Year. I got a very nice certificate and my practice made a big fuss of me with a cake, and so did the company I work for. So it was really lovely and feels great!

Martina: Do you get any time off to enjoy Australia?

Sneha: I would quite confidently say that here, my husband and I, and as a family, have been able to achieve the work-life balance we dreamed of back in England, but could never make happen.  I work 8 am – 3 pm, Monday to Friday, I work 1 in 4 Saturdays, same hours. So the rest of the time is playtime, really. And it’s wall to wall sunshine!

Martina: What’s the money like?

Sneha: The money is great. I’m earning probably 50-60% more than I did in the UK for a lot less hours and a lot less responsibility. If I want to earn more than I can also work extra. Certainly, if I work evenings or Sundays I can earn a bit of extra money there and there’s no restrictions on that for me. Also there’s other ways of earning money. So doing occupational health and I’m now under discussions about running my own women’s health clinic which will also bring in money. So it’s really in my hands how I want to earn and how hard I want to work. But certainly, as a family, we’re much better off. Cost of living is cheaper here generally than it is in England. I know that is contrary to what a lot of the Sydney-siders say. But London is really expensive and Sydney is not so expensive.  [laughs] And you get to enjoy the sunshine which is really great.

Martina: It was lovely talking to you, thank you

Sneha: Thank you