Shepparton High School’s new on-site doctor spent her first day back at school for a long time yesterday, as part of the ‘Doctors in Secondary Schools’ program.
Shepparton-born Doctor Helen Malcolm will be based at the school on Tuesdays to provide medical advice and health care to students most in need.
‘‘It’s hard for school kids to get to an appointment after school without their parents if it’s a private issue,’’ she said.
‘‘This program provides an opportunity for students to see a GP in their own environment.’’
The Victorian Government initiative — rolled out at 100 secondary schools across the state — will see general practitioners spend one day a week at schools.
Dr Malcolm, who has a background in mental health, said she expected to get asked a lot of questions about sexuality and preventive health.
‘‘I’ll remind them that you don’t have to be sick to see a doctor, you can come visit to get general health information,’’ she said.
‘‘My hope is that if they feel comfortable with me then they might link up with a regular GP for continuity of care.
‘‘My goal in life is to help people reach their full potential.’’
Dr Malcolm said high school was a ‘‘tough time in life’’ for students these days because of expectations place on one another by peers.
‘‘Mental health is talked about more and more these days which is great but problems are becoming more evident,’’ she said.