Homegrown . . . Oamaru Doctors GP registrar Dr Amanda McCorkindale is serving the community she grew up in. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

When Amanda McCorkindale left Oamaru as a teenager, she never imagined she would move back to her old home town.

But the Waitaki born and bred doctor has been back for 18 months, happily serving the very community she grew up in.

After graduating from the University of Otago Medical School, Dr McCorkindale spent four years at Southland Hospital, in Invercargill, and a year in Wellington.

She was surprised by how many people she recognised in the Oamaru Doctors’ waiting room – and it was an odd feeling when “the tables turned” and she saw patients who were former teachers.

Originally from Otematata, Dr McCorkindale boarded at St Kevin’s College, in Oamaru, until her parents moved to the seaside town.

As a little girl, she wanted to be a vet but decided science was too hard.

Then in year 12, a “lightbulb went off” and she understood science in a new way.

It was then she decided to be a doctor and “never considered anything else”.

She was faced with the challenge of deciding what to specialise in, but went to medical school with an open mind and figured it out along the way.

With a postgraduate diploma in child health, and an additional postgraduate diploma in women’s health under way, Dr McCorkindale aspired to specialise in lifestyle medicine.

A GP registrar at present, she is in her final year of the three-year general practice education programme.

“Doing it now I realise how tough of a job it is.”

Dr McCorkindale never expected to become a general practitioner, but she enjoyed the lifestyle it offered and the quality of care that could be afforded.

Sometimes it was a matter of just listening to patients, she said.

She enjoyed how the work gave an insight into the lives of people she would not otherwise get to know.

“It’s a very rewarding job.

“It’s a real privilege … the information and things people tell you about themselves.”