Interns taste rural life
Eight junior doctors are getting a taste of what it is like to practice in a rural area through a Grampians Medical Training Program based in Ararat.
East Grampians Health Service welcomed the interns in January, through a partnership with St John of God Ballarat, Maryborough District Health Service, and three GP clinics including Ararat Medical Centre and Maryborough clinics Nightingale Medical Centre and Clarendon Medical Centre.
The eight interns completed their training at various universities, including Deakin, Monash, Melbourne and Notre Dame universities. All are now working in their first year as doctors after medical school.
At East Grampians Health Service the interns are working on rotation through the operating theatre and at Ararat Medical Centre GP clinic.
East Grampians service development and improvement, and junior medical officer manager Sarah Woodburn said the program was about GP rotation and enabling the interns to do everything a rural GP did, including working as a GP obstetrician, anaesthetist and in the hospital.
“The idea is by training doctors in rural areas they are more likely to want to stay and practice in rural areas,” she said.
“It’s all about increasing our medical workforce for the future.”
Health service chief executive Nick Bush said program feedback indicated that it gave the interns hands-on opportunities they rarely experienced in metropolitan areas.
The health service has been part of the intern program for three years.
The program grew from five positions last year to eight in 2017.