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February 2019

Father and daughter working at hospital jpeg
Dr Emma McLaughlin and her dad, Associate Professor Stephen McLaughlin. (Picture: David Johns)

Large group of new interns

Western Health Chief Executive Officer Russell Harrison (centre, back) welcomes the new interns.

Dad and daughter docs

The doors are yet to open but the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital is already generating interest among Victoria’s newest crop of junior doctors.

In Western Health’s medical interns class of 2019, about a dozen cited the new hospital as a reason for applying to the health service for an internship.

The nine-level $200 million hospital is set to open in May to meet the growing demand for services in the west.

Western Health’s supervisor of intern training Sean Fabri said it was encouraging that young doctors saw the potential for a strong career path.

Western Health also has another reason to celebrate.

This year’s group of 62 medical interns boasts the biggest number of graduates to date from the Western Health Clinical School, a partnership with the University of Melbourne.

‘Every year, 48 students graduate from our clinical school and this year 36 are returning as interns – the highest number we’ve ever had,’ Dr Fabri said.

‘It’s a really good sign – it shows that people who have trained here are wanting to continue their careers here.’

The medical interns will undertake five rotations across Footscray, Sunshine and Williamstown hospitals during their 12-month internships.

They will complete compulsory rotations in medical, emergency and surgical departments and are also given the opportunity to work in specialty rotations including neurology, psychiatry, anaesthetics, cardiology, urology, radiology, plastics, infectious diseases and orthopaedics.

Starting her career at Western Health is extra special for Emma McLaughlin, whose father, Associate Professor Stephen McLaughlin has been a surgeon for 32 years at the health service.

‘I actually start my first rotation with him in the colorectal department.

‘There’s some very special things happening out here including the new hospital and coming through the medical school, you can see how you could build your whole career here,’ Dr McLaughlin said.

Western Health Chief Executive Officer Russell Harrison said it was an exciting time to be interning at Western Health, not only with the unveiling of the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital, but with planning set to begin for the new $1.5 billion Footscray Hospital.

He said the service was growing at a rate of nine per cent annually in terms of activity, as opposed to the Victorian average of two per cent.

‘It’s probably the fastest growing and busiest health service in Victoria,’ Mr Harrison said.