RA classification is derailing country towns

IT WAS a dry and dusty summer Sunday in 1981 when my wife Virginia and I drove – with our one-year-old in tow – from Canberra to Junee on the south-west slopes of NSW. 

We’d just finished four years of hospital and general practice training and were on the lookout for a practice. 

Junee was recommended by the Family Medicine Program, a precursor to the current training scheme.

Arriving in Junee was an uninspiring experience. “Just a rail town,” my mother had said.

It was over 45°C, the road was melting, the rail tracks buckling and the town had pretty much closed down, with just a run-down milk bar open. It was hotter inside than out, and the fridge wasn’t working, so the drinks weren’t cold and the ice-cream was melted. 

We were greeted by a worn, frustrated woman with, “What are you doing here anyway?”

“We’re doctors looking for a