THE planned, approved and funded redevelopment of Dubbo Base Hospital has proven a bonus for a specialist who heard about the city and its need of her skills on the medical grapevine.
Endocrinologist Dr Amy Wagstaff, 31, started work as a staff specialist of Dubbo Base Hospital this month after two renal physicians in the city reached out to her through a mutual colleague.
The lure of a job that delivered a lifestyle change and the chance to "feel like you are making some impact on the general health of the community" enticed the Sydneysider to leave the NSW capital behind.
Her recruitment flies in the face of a shortage "everywhere" of endocrinologists, whose patient lists can be dominated by sufferers of diabetes.
The Western NSW Local Health District understands that Dr Wagstaff is Dubbo Base Hospital's first permanent endocrinologist.
Her move to Dubbo with solicitor husband in tow has been welcomed on high.
At the public forum of the state government's Community Cabinet in Dubbo on Monday, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner made mention of Dr Wagstaff's arrival and permanency.
She said the government's investment in the stage one and two redevelopment had lifted morale at the hospital.
From the Dubbo Base Hospital Specialist Medical Centre at 77 Myall Street, Dr Wagstaff said she learned of the redevelopment when visiting Dubbo in December.
"It all looks pretty good for the future of Dubbo," she said.
The new Dubbo resident is already reaping the rewards of going where no endocrinologist has permanently gone before.
She's found affordable homes and more free time, in part because of less time on the road.
"We were travelling an hour each way just to get to work," Dr Wagstaff said.
"It was just wearing us down".
What the specialist didn't expect was an abundance of "friendly and genuine" people.
"You go for a walk around town and people say hello. That's just really nice," Dr Wagstaff said.
In return she wants to "provide a good service" for patients of whom she expects 80 per cent will have diabetes.
"I'm looking forward to it," she said.
Endocrinologists are concerned with the glands and hormones of the body and related disorders.
On her way to Dubbo, Dr Wagstaff completed six years of university and eight years of specialist training, including a fellowship in 2012 at Westmead Hospital focused on diabetes.
Dubbo is reported to be visited once a month by three endocrinologists, one of them working with the hospital and the other two with private practices.
Stage one and two redevelopment of Dubbo Base Hospital is costing almost $80 million. Construction starts mid-year with completion due end of 2014.