A medical breakthrough occurred at Dubbo Base Hospital yesterday when two young Sydneysiders slung stethoscopes around their necks.
Drs Meagan Campain and Michelle Telfer are the first former students of the University of Sydney Rural Clinical School in Dubbo to ask for jobs at the hospital.
Their appointments, for a year and six months respectively is a shot in the arm for the future of health in Dubbo, according to hospital management and staff, including director of critical care Dr Randall Greenberg, who also caught the bush bug after a stint in Alice Springs.
On her first day as a practising doctor, Dr Campain revealed the value of the clinical school to the city and region.
“Coming here as a student took the fear out of coming over the mountains and learning everything new,” she said.
“I wouldn’t have signed up for 12 months without knowing what it was like.”
What’s more, the convert to the Dubbo way of life sees
only the advantages of launching a medical career in the country.
“I think for a junior doctor it’s a great place to be because you get to learn good everyday medicine,” Dr Campain said.
“We get good hands-on experience and we work a lot more independently ... I think it makes us feel a lot more confident.”
Senior resident Dr Telfer will work in a general medical practice in Dubbo for a year at the end of her hospital stay.
She’s already telling her contemporaries “how great it is” out west.
Bondi-raised Dr Greenberg, charged with keeping watch over interns and resident medical officers at Dubbo Base, admits excitement at it being a workplace of choice for next generation medicos.
“It is certainly evidence that the clinical school is helping us with recruitment,” said the doctor who knows that a “taste” of the country can turn some doctors’ heads.
General manager of Dubbo Base Hospital Lynne Weir couldn’t help but look to the future yesterday as the new recruits focused intently on the present.
“It (the clinical school) has made an impact and it means that we can get doctors to come back to Dubbo, who want to come long-term and who actually aren’t from the country,” she said.
“It’s fantastic for us because we now know that we can look to the future and know that we’ll have a medical workforce that will be more sustainable than it ever has been.”