In­terns taste ru­ral life

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

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.

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