She was the Dubbo Hospital’s first full-time intern and now Natalie Holden has returned to the city as a general practitioner.
Dr Holden and her husband Dane, who is a surgeon, moved to Dubbo five weeks ago, ten years after she started as an intern.
While it’s a win for the duo to be closer to family, it also helps to boost much needed doctor numbers, Dr Dane Holden said.
“From a surgery perspective I think there’s seven general surgeons but I think they’re always looking for more. From a GP perspective you always need GPs, you never look at a country town and say ‘wow there’s so many GPs here’. They always need people,” he said.
For the surgeon, medicine was always the field he planned to work in.
“I told my parents when I was four that that’s what I was going to do and that’s how it turned out. When I was four that’s what I wanted to do and that’s always been the goal. It was entirely planned the whole way along,” he said.
However, Dr Natalie Holden said while she had been interested in sports medicine after having knee problems as a child, she didn’t think she would have the marks to pursue it.
“I actually decided to apply only the week before the university closures happened. My mum had to drive to Sydney because I made such a last minute change and I think she got it in an hour before submissions closed,” she said.
Rather than go into sports medicine, Dr Holden said she really enjoyed her training at the emergency department in Dubbo. Form there she moved into general practice. Dr Holden, now at Macquarie Valley Family Practice, said she enjoyed the wide variety it had to offer and the simplistic hours.
While moving from the Morning Peninsula had been a big change weather-wise, Dr Holden said she had been blown-away to see how much Dubbo had to offer young families with kids.
“In my previous life I was here without children and that was a bit of an anxiety-provoking thing for me because I was moving from such a fantastic children’s area but Dubbo actually has a lot to offer so we’ve really enjoyed it,” she said.