As an athlete and a medical professional, Madhu Tamilarasan understands what it means for people to get back into physical activity safely after an accident. She also wants to encourage more people to get involved in sport within the community.
With all this in mind, the Bowenfels Medical Practice GP recently opened Lithgow Sports Medicine within her current practice.
Dr Tamilarasan has been a GP at the clinic since 2005 and over the years has become an enthusiastic triathlete and mountain bike rider.
"I love my sport and medicine, I am currently undertaking a masters in Sports Medicine, so it seems like a natural fit," she said.
"I wanted to up my knowledge so getting this extra level of qualification will allow me to help more people."
Currently there is no sports medicine clinic between Orange and Penrith and Dr Tamilarasan wants to fill that professional gap.
"I thought I had to do something about that, so residents can stay in town and see someone local," she said.
The sports medicine clinic is run from Dr Tamilarasan's room in the Bowenfels Medical Clinic on Tuesdays only.
The service doesn't just cater to elite athletes but rather the every day people who participate in physical activity.
"In a nutshell I will be offering medical advice to those participating in physical activities, as well as looking at sporting injuries, injury prevention, assessment for sports, pregnant women wanting to continue physical activity, as well as those suffering with asthma and heart disease," she said.
"I also go over the national physical activity guidelines because not many people are aware of them."
Dr Tamilarasan said she was happy to see patients of all ages, amateur and elite athletes.
"I have a particular interest in women and mature aged participants in sport," she said.
According to Dr Tamilarasan, the numbers of women, children and mature age Lithgow residents in sport is declining.
"We have plenty of sporting teams in town and so I want to get people interested in participating in sport," she said.
"I also feel like these majorities are under represented."
Dr Tamilarasan said she is open to seeing residents from surrounding towns, including the upper mountains, Bathurst, Rydal, Tarana and more.
"I can relate to the people coming in because I am an athlete myself, so I know how important it is for people to be active as quickly as possible but in the safest way possible," she said.
Dr Tamilarasan said as much as this clinic is just a 'one man band' as the only doctor doing this, she has lived in the area for many years and has created a long list of contacts.
"It's a team effort, not one person can do it all, and so I have done networking with allied health professionals and specialists, because I want patients to be able to stay local and do their rehabilitation in town without having to travel," she said.
Dr Tamilarasan said this service was not to take people away from their GP, that should always be residents' first port of call.
"I am an additional service on top of that, you should always go to someone who has your family history," she said.
"This is a separate identity, a specialised service for patients."
Dr Tamilarasan said the health benefits were 'huge' for those who go from doing no physical exercise to doing a little bit.
"I was someone who did nothing and then one day decided to change that and the benefits that came were incredible, you just have to start somewhere," she said.
Bookings are available now through Bowenfels Medical Practice.
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