Smithton is a world away from his birthplace in rural Pakistan, but Ochre Health’s new GP feels instantly at home.
“I’ve just moved here and I’m enjoying it,'' Dr Syed Kazmi said.
“I’m a village man myself. I grew up in a village, and studied in a village, before I went to medical school in the city. I walk every day and it’s very friendly, everybody says hello and I’m starting to connect with people.”
He’s also delighted to find a culturally inclusive, permanent home for his young family.
“During hospital training I had to move around, which wasn’t great. I couldn’t get to know people or follow them up properly. That’s why I decided to become a GP, so I can know people and follow their progress.”
Originally trained as an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Kazmi found that most of the injuries he treated were work-related, so he moved to the UK to complete a Masters in Occupational Health.
He stayed on in the UK, working in emergency departments and completing further training including in neural rehabilitation.
Then in 2018, a conversation with a respiratory consultant friend working in Melbourne changed everything.
“He said come over - it’s a better life, your training will be accepted, why not?”
So Dr Kazmi took a role with the Mersey Hospital, moving to Devonport in 2018. He worked there in the medical and emergency departments until he made the move to Smithton.
Dr Kazmi eventually decided to become a GP because “in a hospital it's only acute admission and you can only do so much - I love being able to help my patients with their long term health.”
“When you’re working in trauma, a patient comes in, you fix them and then you let them go. You have no idea what happened. I like to connect and follow people up, I really want to know how they did.”
A huge plus of the move to Smithton is the district hospital, which he sees as the best of both worlds. “I can admit patients, so I can keep my hand in, plus they don’t have to travel too far to get treatment. It’s a blend of worlds, the perfect balance!”
Dr Kazmi has a special interest in chronic disease management and palliative care.
At home with his young family, Dr Kazmi loves to cook and to go for walks.