Dr Fady Henry on serving his community

Buying his first and then second practice in regional Victoria has given general practitioner Dr Fady Henry the space he needs to thrive and grow.

  4 minutes

Community is everything in general practice. So even when Dr Fady Henry first arrived in Melbourne back in 2004, he had his eyes on finding the balance between working in a medical practice and enjoying time with his family and his Coptic community. “Bendigo was the perfect place,” he says.

The one downside of being in your community is your business tends to grow quickly, which is a problem if your surgery can’t grow at the same pace.

Dr Henry originally trained in his native Egypt, graduating with honours from Ain Shams University, Cairo in 1999. He arrived in Australia five years later, working as a paediatric registrar at various hospitals in Victoria before going into general practice
in 2010.

Under the rules for general practitioners relocating to Australia is a condition where he had to work in a regional area. “I applied to work in Echuca and Moama (200 kms north of Melbourne),” he says. “It was one of the best practices I have worked in. I owe them a lot in teaching and supporting me. I liked the balance of working in private practice, hospital and teaching registrars. With my experience in paediatrics I was able to help in neonatal resuscitation and paediatric emergencies in the hospital in addition to teaching medical students. I found my passion and fell in love with general practice in Echuca. It offered the balance between work and family.”

On the weekends, he would visit the community in Bendigo, where his friends lived. “I became a partner in Echuca and I learned a lot about the business side of general practice. In 2016 Shirein—my wife and specialist physiotherapist—and I decided to move close to our Coptic community and our church in Bendigo.

“We bought a well-established small practice in Bendigo at White Hills. The previous doctor was an award winning and very skilled GP who loved and worked relentlessly to serve the Bendigo community. After a couple of years, we found that we needed to expand.”

Room to move

There were various reasons for expanding. One was just the physical limitations of space. His wife, an accredited musculoskeletal and pelvic health physiotherapist, started working within the practice, and he has a podiatrist working with him as well. Dr Henry is also a GP supervisor and medical educator for GP registrars and Melbourne University students, and he wanted to get more registrars working in the practice, as well as expand his practice in skin cancer checks and surgery.

Space became available in the Strath Village Shopping Centre, on the other side of town. “We had the opportunity to design this practice from scratch,” he explains. “It was our baby, I would say. This is a purpose-built practice. It was designed by Simon Henry from SSH constructions.

“We tried to make it functional as much as we could and make use of the available space. There is a place for gloves, towels, etc. Everything is easy to find, accessible and the rooms are very functional. It’s small, but it is perfect for us and very high quality. It is a nice practice. It is close to town, and it’s a great area.”

Here to help

When it came to funding the expansion, Dr Henry turned to BOQ Specialist. “I've been with BOQ Specialist since 2010,” he says. “I have known Melinda [Goddard] for much of that time, and I find she is an excellent and friendly person to talk to in regards to finances, from car loans, commercial, business loans and advice about residential loans.” Nowadays he practices between both although the new rooms give him a bit more space to work in. It also makes it easier for his community to get his help, which is a win for everyone. 

 

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