General Practitioners   of Australia

connecting GPs across this vast land
Medical Life in the 1960s

      A typical urban general practitioner in the 1960s would have been born between 1900 and 1935. He would have lived through at least one world war and the gret depression. Training would have been through Sydney University in NSW or Monash in Victoria. The undergraduate course would have been six years. He may well have worked as an RMO in the hospital system for a year or two, although this was not a requirement.

The lodge system had essentially ceased and so blling was direct to the patient. It was accepted that some patients could not pay and they were treated for free. The GP typically worked very hard and so his income was reasonable. Work included weekends and public holidays and having time off for family holidays was uncommon.

Most obsterics was done by the family GP. He would deliver babies, do forceps deliveries, manual removals and Caesarian sections. A fellow GP would deliver the anaesthetic for any major surgery. Hospital ward rounds were mostly for the obsteric patients. Mothers would stay for about a week after delivery (confinement!).

A typical day might start at 8.30 at the practice (perhaps with ward rounds before that). Perhaps 40 patients would be seen through the day and up to 25 house calls after that. The work load could be quite stressful and the lack of holidays meant little relief. Most patients did not have a car, nor did they have a telephone. There were no mobile telephoones for the doctors.