A globetrotting GP has joined the Leongatha Healthcare team.
Doctor Nayana Prematilaka was born in Sri Lanka, trained in Russia and now calls Australia home.
Currently doing her registrar training, Nayana has already completed six months training at Churchill and will do a further six months in Leongatha, before going back to Churchill.
Nayana’s medical odyssey began when she accepted a scholarship to train in Moscow.
Her special interest is palliative care, something she puts down to her upbringing.
Russia will always hold a special place in her heart.
“It was good. We were young and everything was supplied by the university in Moscow. The first year was for language and then six years of medical school,” she said.
Nayana said the move was a culture shock.
“The first year was hard. Everything was new with the school and our parents,” she said.
Nayana came to Australia after her husband made the move in 2001.
“From 2001 to 2006 I had two kids. I did my exams and started working in 2006. I did my internship at Newcastle. Of course it’s really hard to get an internship in Melbourne,” she said.
“We went to NSW then came back and worked in Melbourne for nearly two years. Then I got into GP training this year. I think this is a really good area. Everyone is helpful and the clinic is good. People are nice, friendly – so far.”
Nayana said she chose medicine because of the experience of looking after her grandmother.
“When she was really ill the doctors came into our house. At that time I thought, that’s a really good profession. I decided I really wanted to get into medicine,” she said.
She found it hard to get into university in Sri Lanka, but the dream did not dwindle.
“My mum and dad said if I really wanted to apply for medicine I should try for the scholarship in Russia. I applied and got it,” she said.
“I really wanted to go. My husband, who I met in high school, went to Russia the year before.”
The move to those colder climes proved a fruitful one. And now, in a life’s journey that has taken her around the world, she is in Leongatha.
The former Soviet superpower’s loss is South Gippsland’s gain.
Short URL: http://www.thestar.com.au/?p=60