You have a choice of treating doctor from our team of doctors who work on a casual basis at the after-hours clinic. Each one is very broadly trained and experienced and motivated to assist. The mix of skills also allows us to offer wide range of medical services including contraception and mental health.
Each doctor is credentialled by the Clinical Committee of DHSA and undertakes the annual one-day educational update in addition to their usual Continuing Professional Development with their respective Colleges (RACGP and ACRRM).
Due to the part-time nature of the after-hours service, our doctors work between one and two sessions each month at the clinic and each doctor performs their own personalised follow-up of test results. If this is not possible due to absence on leave or whilst overseas, results and actions are confidentially followed up by the Medical Director.
Our After Hours Doctors
Dr Julie Mencel (1 session per month)
BMBS(Flinders), FRACGP, MFM (Monash)
Dr Julie Mencel is in full-time urban general practice in Norwood. She thoroughly enjoys the full spectrum of family practice from antenatal care through to geriatrics. She has worked sessions at the doctors’ health clinic since it opened in May 2012.
Dr Jill Benson AM
MBBS, DCH, FACPsychMed, MPH, FACRRM
Dr Jill Benson has been a GP for over 30 years. She currently works as a GP in a private clinic, in three remote Aboriginal communities in the western desert, in the clinic at Doctors Health SA, as a researcher in the Discipline of General Practice at the University of Adelaide, and as a Medical Educator at GPEx, the South Australian GP Training organisation. She has a PhD in refugee health and also works with the Doctors' Health NT program providing support to remote doctors.
Dr Lorenzo Ponte
Dr Lorenzo Ponte brings a wealth of experience and knowledge as a General Practitioner. He graduated from The University of Adelaide in 1996, and did his GP training in Minlaton, on the Yorke Peninsula. He completed his Fellowship in 2001, and remained in Minlaton as a rural GP until 2011. He relocated to Adelaide to become the Clinical Director at Uni-Health Playford. Lorenzo started working at Health on Kensington in 2021, and provides 2 sessions a month at Doctors' Health SA.
His strong association with University run clinics at Minlaton and Playford fostered an interest in medical education and teaching of undergraduate medical students as well as post graduate GP Registrars. Lorenzo has also worked closely with many International Medical Graduates both as a supervisor and co worker and has developed a very good understanding of the issues they face.
Dr Hema Shankar
Dr Hema Shankar has been practising medicine in a variety of settings – urban, rural and remote, hospitals and private practice and out in the field with MSF since graduating from Flinders University in 2002. Her breadth of experience includes ICU, ED, ophthalmology, dermatology and Indigenous health. She has worked with the displaced Rohingya population in Bangladesh and with disadvantaged Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Queensland and WA. Since completing her fellowship in General Practice in 2012, she has worked in rural and remote locations all over Australia, often as a solo practitioner. Having been involved in the education, training and supervision of medical students, junior doctors and IMGs, she understands the challenges that face doctors in the rapidly evolving field of medical practice and service delivery. In her role with Doctors' Health SA she provides peer support to her colleagues enabling them to look after their health and well-being and enjoy productive and fulfilling careers in medicine.
Dr Michael Beckoff
MBBS (Adel) FACRRM FAICD
Dr Mike Beckoff is a procedural rural generalist currently working as a locum in rural and remote areas of Australia and has been doing so since 2011.
He graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1974 and practised rural general practice, emergency medicine, GP surgery and GP advanced obstetrics at Bridge Clinic from 1977 until 2010, since which time he has been working as a rural and remote locum across Australia. He has been Chair of the Murray Mallee GP Network and Chair of General Practice SA since 2005.
His current positions include, Board Director HealthDirect, Board Director ACRRM [Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine] Board Chair RDWA [Rural Doctor’s Workforce Agency]; Clinical Standards Committee ACSQHC [Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare]; SA MET Committee; SA Health Clinical Senate; SA Health College Chairs Committee; Clinical Adviser [Mental Health] CHSA LHN [Country Health SA Local Hospital Network]; Chair SA Health Statewide Steering Committee for Mental Health Shared Care and SA Country PHN Clinical Governance Council.
Dr Beckoff has a strong interest in the health of doctors and especially those from a rural and IMG background.
Dr Penelope Dargaville
Dr Penelope Dargaville has worked in general practice since 1983, in a variety of settings in the ACT and SA.
She has additionally worked as a medical educator for the RACGP, as a medical adviser for Medicare Australia, and as an independent assessor for AHPRA. In each of these settings, she has observed the effects of stressors on doctors who are consulting in what can be challenging circumstances. While at the RACGP, she developed and delivered a self care program which was integrated into the GP registrar’s education. This underpins the way she practices herself. She is on the Executive Committee for SASH - South Australian Society of Hypnosis and has a supervision and assessment role. She consults as a clinical hypnotherapist- both in her general practice setting, and at specialist rooms. This experience has given her a breadth of skills allowing her to manage a wide range of physical and psychological conditions.
She is expecting to be able to deliver clinical hypnotherapy to patients of Doctors' Health SA in addition to general practice services.
Dr Chris Holmwood
MBBS (University of NSW) Dip RACOG FRACGP Mast CEd FRACP (Addiction Medicine)
Chris Holmwood is an Addiction Medicine Specialist with an interest in helping medical professionals experiencing issues with substance use.
Until recently he was one of the Directors of Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) with responsibility for hospital and general practice liaison.
He is experienced in all areas of Addiction Medicine.