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April 2015

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MDHS CEO Terry Welch and Grampians Medical Training intern supervisor Associate Professor Andrew Dean (centre) with MDHS staff development manager Denise Richards intern Hemmavathy MT Valluvan, Grampians Medical Training junior medical officer Sarah Woodburn, interns Collin McDonnell, Caitlin Young and Austin Nguyen, MDHS Community Services Director Tracey Wilson and intern Manissa Sufian. (Picture: Deanne Tyers)

Intern program attracts young doctors to the country

The Grampians Medical Training intern program has welcomed its first-ever intake of medical interns to Maryborough.

‘This innovative program was developed to attract and retain a medical workforce with the right skill set for rural practice,’ said Maryborough District Health Service Chief Executive Officer Terry Welch.

‘The program embodies the focus and drive of MDHS to develop and grow professionals at all levels of our organisation.

‘I can only encourage the community to support the interns in their time with us in every way.’

The Grampians Medical Training program is a partnership between Maryborough District Health Service, St John of God Ballarat Hospital and East Grampians Health Service.

It is a community-based intern program enabling interns to gain experience in the roles and procedures of the rural doctor, in acknowledgement that doctors who train in rural areas are more likely to stay.

‘Interns are doctors who have completed their medical degrees and are awarded provisional registration,’ said junior medical officer Sarah Woodburn.

‘The intern year enables these doctors to complete their first year of practice under supervision.’

The five interns in the Grampians Medical Training Program have completed their medical degrees at Melbourne and Monash Universities.

‘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,’ said Maryborough District Health Service director of medical services Dr Eric Kennelly.

Each intern completes five rotations.

Surgical terms will occur at Maryborough District Health Service and East Grampians 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.

Intern Caitlin Young applied for the rural intern placement after her experiences as a medical student in Maryborough and Bendigo.

Dr Young said key factors in this decision were the diverse and challenging role of doctors in rural areas, the sense of community and the quality of supervision by dedicated mentors.