Getting to Know … Dr Dani Phillips of Balmain Village Health

Dr Dani Phillips is a general practitioner at Balmain Village Health which provides comprehensive health care for the Balmain and surrounding communities. The practice has doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who are committed to helping patients find solutions for their health concerns. Dr Phillips is particularly interested in prevention, women’s health, sexual health, mental health and particularly enjoys supporting teenagers and young adults.
 
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Dani Phillips and I work as a GP at Balmain Village Health. I grew up in Sydney, studied at UNSW and worked for a few years in various hospitals before moving to specialise in general practice. I love travelling, running, the beach, and my cavoodle Chloe.
 
What inspired you to become a GP?
Working in the hospital, I was sometimes frustrated by what seemed to be a one-track-minded approach, where I would see so many people struggling to manage potentially preventable conditions within fragmented care systems. I was drawn to the varied role of being a GP, and the way that the discipline of general practice appreciates that humans are complex creatures who require individualised whole-person care.
 
What services does Balmain Village Health offer? What can clients expect from a visit to the practice?
At Balmain Village Health we strive to provide the highest level of health care specifically tailored to Balmain and its surrounding communities. Patients feel a sense of belonging as well as respect at our practice. We are equipped to provide every aspect of general practice care and have a comprehensive allied health team too. Our team is growing all the time to ensure that patients can find a solution for their health concerns.
 
How would you describe your style as a GP?
I would describe my style as thorough, evidence based, open minded and non-judgemental. I aim to work collaboratively with patients and their families to achieve their own health needs.
 
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the opportunity to get to know people, understand their lives and build up a therapeutic relationship. I also enjoy educating patients about their health and watching them make positive changes and reach goals. I always said that if I wasn’t a doctor, I think I’d like to be a teacher, and being a GP means I get to do a bit of both!
 
Do you have any particular areas of interest as a GP?
One of the best parts of being a GP is that you have the flexibility to pursue specific interests, and that these can change over time. I am interested in prevention, women’s health, sexual health, mental health and particularly enjoy supporting teenagers and young adults.
 
What do you like most about working with adolescents?
Adolescence is such a significant stage of life but can also be incredibly challenging. It can be a time when lots of different health issues arise, and management needs to be tailored to the specific complexities of adolescent life. I think it’s really important to create a safe space to talk openly with adolescents about their concerns, and I am often amazed at how resilient and adaptable young adults can be.
 
What are some of the most important things we should be doing for our mental health?
Prioritise it for a start! We all live such busy lives that we can forget the importance of maintaining the basics for physical and mental health – adequate sleep, regular physical activity, nutritious food, and connection with family and friends. If you think you’re struggling to fit these things in, it can be really useful to have a chat with your GP.
 
Is there a book or podcast series you’ve enjoyed recently?
I listen to a few different medical podcasts geared towards GPs, which help me keep up with research and ongoing learning. I also love listening to some less-serious podcasts like The Weekly Planet and TOFOP, to wind down at the end of the day. Last year my partner and I enjoyed listening to the Binge Mode: Harry Potter series together – I would strongly recommend it for anyone who ever thought they had read the books a few too many times!
 
What are some of your favourite Inner West spots to dine at or relax?
One of my favourite ways to relax is getting a coffee from any of the great cafes near our practice on Darling Street, and enjoying it with a crossword, sitting under a tree in Gladstone Park on a sunny day.
 
You might also like:
Getting to Know … Dr Cassandra Ng of Balmain Village Health
Getting to Know … Dr Ravi Jayalath of Balmain Village Health
 
Getting to Know … back articles
You can find all our past Getting to Know … pieces here.

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