The Grampians Medical Training intern program has welcomed its second intake of medical interns to Ararat. East Grampians Health Service Chief Executive Nick Bush welcomes the interns to the Health Service and said “This innovative program was developed to attract and retain a medical workforce with the unique skills for rural practice. It has been shown that doctors who train in rural areas are more likely to stay and practice.”
Mr Bush commented that The Grampians Medical Training program is a partnership between East Grampians Health Service, St John of God Hospital, Ballarat and Maryborough District Health Service. It is a community based intern program where the interns gain experience in the roles as a rural doctor.
Junior Medical Officer Manager Sarah Woodburn said “Interns are doctors who have completed their medical degrees and are awarded provisional registration. The intern year enables these doctors to complete their first year of practice under supervision. This years interns have completed their medical degrees at the University of Melbourne and Monash University.”
East Grampians Health Service Director of Medical Services Dr Eric Kennelly said “Grampians Medical Training is a unique program because it provides the interns exposure to both public and private health services and regional and rural locations including general practice.”
Dr Kennelly highlighted that each intern completes five rotations. Surgical terms will occur at East Grampians Health Service, Ararat and Maryborough District Health Service and will include almost daily sessions in theatre and significant exposure to anaesthetics. Medical and emergency terms will be at St John of God Ballarat Hospital. General Practice terms will occur at Clarendon Medical Centre and the Nightingale Clinic in Maryborough. It is planned to include Ararat Medical Centre in 2017.
Medical Intern Dr, Tom Na said “Having done some clinical work in Horsham during medical school, I had an understanding of the situation whereby shortage and need of medical practitioners in these regions is drastic. So I was highly keen to practice medicine in rural/regional areas to contribute to their health and wellbeing.”
Dr Na said “Through Grampians Health Services Rural Training Program, I feel like I have developed close relationships with my supervising GPs and the community, which I think is invaluable. Also, it provided me an opportunity to see a broader scope of illnesses and helped me gain relevant hands-on experience in the role and procedures of the rural doctor. I was able to assist rural GPs with procedures ranging from obstetrics to anaesthetics. All thes knowledge and procedural skills I have gained through my internship will be a great asset for me as I have a passion to help resource poor communities in and out of Australia in the future.”
Pictured above (L-R): Dr Cody Passier, Dr Joey Lam, Dr John Kuan, Dr Amy Schmidt, Dr Tom Na, Sarah Woodburn