Dr Tom Shashian is a GP working at two clinics in metropolitan Melbourne. Originally from Adelaide, Tom completed his medical training at Frankston and Monash, where he began down the O&G pathway. However, he found that this lifestyle simply “wasn’t compatible” with his desire to spend quality time with his young family. While it is GPs don’t earn as much as specialists, they are certainly still well off! Dr Shashian decided he “didn’t need to drive a Porsche”, valuing the quality of life, interest of his work and continuity of care over decadence.

Right now, Tom is satisfied with his work-life balance. He works around 50 hours per week, with 4 days of consulting and about 1 day of private surgical assisting, with no on call or nights involved. Listen in to hear why he believes all the happiest GPs have special interests – his include dermatology, travel medicine and diet medicine. This variety, as well as his diplomas in obstetrics and paediatrics, have also made him a more “well-rounded” and interested GP.

Dr Shashian believe the role of the GP can be undervalued by patients who enter consultations with preformed expectations. Yet at the same time, patients often place immense trust in your opinion, such as whether what the specialist said to do is worth doing. He also explains why GPs have significant “leverage” over specialists, who he likens to running a “small business”.

One of Tom’s pearls of wisdom for listeners is “just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean it’s good for you”. Preach! He also gives us some fantastic tips regarding how to stand out from the crowd on the ward. Conversely, the worse piece of advice he was given was “work hard and everything will fall into place”, which he found was true for some aspects of life but not others. Outside of medicine, Tom makes time for scuba diving, martial arts and his family.

We hope you guys enjoy this podcast! Feel free to send through any questions you may have for Dr Tom Shashian, and give us feedback on this week’s episode by filling out the survey.

Pathways into General Practice

Medical School → Internship → HMO 1 → Australian General Practice Program (3-4 years) → General Practitioner

Source: RACGP

Salary

According to the Australian Government Taxation Data, in the 2013-14 income year we had approximately:

  • 9,434 female general practitioners earning an average of $129,834
  • 11,178 male general practitioners earning an average of $184,639

Unfortunately, there was no data available for Medicolegal Advisors.

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TMC039: General Practice and Life Advice with Dr Tom Shashian
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