14 July 2020

For many veterans, their GP plays a crucial role in helping them manage the physical and mental impact of their military service.

With over 27 years in the Australian Defence Force, GMRF GP Ambassador, Dr Phil Parker, is a healthcare professional who understand the toll of military service.

“It can be difficult to recall and discuss some events from the past,” Dr Parker says. “The trauma may still be extremely raw, even years on from service. In a safe environment and with the right carer, it is possible to have discussions that can lead to significant benefits in quality of life.”

A solid rapport with your GP is critical to good treatment. While your current GP may be qualified to provide medical treatment, if you don’t feel comfortable providing them with personal information, it may be time to look for an alternative.

You don’t need a GP who has years of military experience, but you do need one who can appreciate how military service can have a tremendous impact on your mind, your body, and the way you interact with civilian medical professionals.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I trust that my GP has my best interests in mind?
  • Does my GP foster a safe and open environment?
  • Does my GP know about the entitlements I am able to claim as a veteran?
  • Does my GP understand the impact military service can have on mind and body?
  • Does my GP refer me to specialists for both my physical and psychological health?
  • Does my GP utilise the information from my specialists to support my overall care?

It is important to remember that however much it may not feel like it, help is available. When and how you receive support is now up to you.

In partnership with RSL Queensland, GMRF has provided education on managing the co-morbidities of PTSD provided to over 800 healthcare professionals. Find out more about GMRF’s Veteran Research.