A day in the life of Eucalyptus GP, Dr Roy Mariathas
“What Euc offers is something really special to patients.”
Dr Roy Mariathas, MBBS FRACGP, is a general practitioner with over a decade of clinical experience. After completing his intern and resident years at Nepean Hospital, Dr Mariathas moved into a medical officer role at Strathfield Private Hospital, where he managed patients before and after surgery.
In 2019, Dr Mariathas became a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, but 15 years after starting medical school, he was ready for a change — this is where Eucalyptus came in.
These days, Dr Mariathas is a GP at Euc, where he works on patient consultations and collaborates with our team of healthcare providers including dietitians, health coaches and pharmacists, to provide high-touch and safe care through telehealth.
Dr Mariathas explores the early days of his career, why he decided to join Euc and the ways in which Euc is changing how healthcare is accessed by Australians.
The inspiration behind a career in medicine
My father had a genetic disease that affects around ~0.33% of people, which sky-rocketed his cholesterol and he was also a diabetic. He found out about both these diagnoses after having his first heart attack at 39, when I was 4 years old, and he needed to have a triple bypass at an incredibly young age.
He was also a doctor (and a hustler!). He negotiated our family out of a country in the middle of a civil war and his first jobs were to wash cars and deliver pizza. When his health started getting the better of him in his later years, he stopped working in the Australian healthcare system and instead, worked on setting up programs to provide vitamins to malnourished kids in regions of poverty in Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Needless to say, old mate was a legend. When I was thinking about where I wanted to take my life, I realised there were deep similarities in the way we thought about the world and loved people and so it was an organic step to want to serve people through medicine and healthcare.
From medical school to general practitioner
After medical school, I started doctoring at 23, at Nepean Hospital and did my intern and resident years there. I moved into a medical officer role for 2 years at Strathfield Private Hospital, where I managed patients before and after surgery under leading specialists including patients undergoing bariatric surgery and open heart procedures.
I moved into training for general practice training and worked as a GP registrar, completed my fellowship exams and after 2 years, became a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (a fully-fledged GP) in 2019. I then worked in General Practice, mostly on a full-time basis until I started working at Eucalyptus.
Outside of my clinical work, I was also a registrar medical educator for GP Synergy, which was the training organisation for GPs in NSW before Australian GP training transitioned to the RACGP. My time there was spent rubbing shoulders with medical educators and registrars as they progressed through the program, and auditing resources to facilitate exam preparation for registrars.
Making a career change
It had been 15 years since I started medical school and I was finally finding the room to breathe after a long journey towards specialisation and doing family life. The world was a completely different place since I made the decision to become a doctor.
I was also working in an area with a high burden of disease and was acutely aware of how broken the system was. I knew that staying in the system wasn’t going to be the answer, and I began imagining what the future of medicine would look like. Then along came Euc.
The day-to-day of a Eucalyptus GP
I’m a general practitioner at Eucalyptus and I currently provide consultations for Juniper’s Weight Reset Program and Pilot’s Metabolic Reset Program. This means that I have a patient-facing role, where I look to deliver the best experience for patients and high-quality care.
I also have a team-facing role, where I will lean on, support and work with other medical staff, medical operations, clinical leadership, medical support, patient support, pharmacists, health coaches and dietitians to coordinate care for my patients.
My every day at Euc looks like logging on to the platform and internal communication systems. Usually, the first thing I’ll prioritise is correspondence from our medical support team. I’ll triage these patients and make contact with them to provide medical support. I am always impressed by the excellence that is displayed by our medical support team — they are world-class.
Then, I’ll start my consults with patients and this will be a mix of new consultations that have been assigned, patients presenting for review and ongoing conversations. During the day, there will be chatter with our team to break up the work and often there will be a real-time handover of patients from our patient and medical support teams. Daily, there will be some form of an update on systems or quality improvement or internal auditing and so some time will be spent reviewing this and making relevant changes to my practice.
How life has changed since joining Euc
General practice is a service-related role and the industry is facing workforce and sustainability crises at the moment so conventionally one needs to put in the hours. We are a single-income family with 2 young kids now (yay!) and family is everything to us.
Enter the tug-of-war between studying, pursuing meaningful work, working hard and investing time into marriage and family. Eucalyptus took my tug-of-war rope and burnt it. I’ve grown as a clinician and am positively challenged to improve my practice.
I have exposure to cutting-edge technology and its intersection with healthcare delivery. I learn from an extremely smart and fun team and leaders. I work in a beautiful space and have the freedom of flexibility to be a husband and father to young kids. And my physical and mental health are invested in as well as my professional development.
How Euc is changing the way healthcare is accessed
The biggest thing that I have personally noticed that Eucalyptus does is bring beauty back into healthcare. You could also interchange beauty with fun, joy or delight. These concepts have been long left to the wayside in the delivery of healthcare. And it’s been my pleasure to be a part of bringing this to patients.
This is not to say that having a fun time equates to a lack of standards — the standards are non-negotiable. But by building on those foundations, what Euc offers is something really special to patients.
There’s a proverb that I have on my wall, “A cheerful heart is good medicine”. I see Euc bringing the cheer back into medicine. Euc’s passion for the best user experience means that patients, who are approaching a healthcare professional with sensitive issues, are provided with a sense of worth and value from the moment they begin their journey with us and right to the very end.
Telehealth is positively changing how GPs can work
Just talking about the benefits for the practitioner — a GP is no longer limited to a physical space or a desk in one specific location. With the use of asynchronous consultations, this privilege extends further to not being limited to a set time.
The autonomy and flexibility that these models provide are freeing for a practitioner who was once bound by space and time. In my circumstance, the benefits for family and parenting are immense. I have a 6-month-old son who moonlights as a Sri Lankan party animal — suddenly a sleepless night is converted into a productive night.
For parents of newborns who are looking to continue to work or require flexibility, it is empowering. With the advent of digital technologies and new ways of working, there are obvious implications to solve the problems of workforce distribution within healthcare.
To any of my fellow GPs that are wanting a change of pace, I implore you to look at a company like Euc.
Dr Roy Mariathas
About the contributors
Dr Roy Mariathas, Eucalyptus GP