The secret is out about the State’s rural and remote destinations, but what isn’t widely known is their appeal as a medical training destination.

Newly qualified University of Tasmania medical graduates are opting to further their education and training locally as rural interns.  

This year all 12 medical internships on offer in the North-West were filled by the institution’s graduates, keen to kick-start their careers on the Coast.

Now, in addition to walking the hospital wards in Burnie and Latrobe, a new intern program is helping them practise in locations that are more remote.

Ulverstone’s Nathan Vos has been one of the very first University graduates to undertake the new King Island intern post – an opportunity he was excited to embrace.

“King Island is a beautiful and rewarding place to work,” Nathan explains.

“My days are usually a mix of seeing patients in general practice, emergency and at the local nursing home attached to the hospital.

I have had the privilege to get to know a lot of patients well in my short time here and be involved professionally and socially within the community. Everyone has been extremely friendly, welcoming and accommodating with the new intern program.

It’s not the first time Nathan has visited either.

A placement during the final year of his degree while studying at the University’s Rural Clinical School (RCS) acquainted him with the island.

“Studying at the RCS in Burnie were the best years of my medical studies.  Now working in an area and hospital I know well has made the internship transition much smoother for me,” he says.

“I’m also very pleased to have had the chance to do a rural rotation in its first year of being implemented.

It’s a great way to encourage future doctors to see what working in rural and remote Australia is like and how rewarding it can be.

Ben Dodds, also a University of Tasmania graduate, has been undertaking the new intern rotation in Queenstown.

Like Nathan, he’s returned to the West Coast after a previous placement during his fifth year. “I have thoroughly enjoyed this rotation,” Ben shares. 

“The ability to manage patients in the emergency setting, care for them and then follow their progress in the community is a privilege of rural medicine.

“There have been a wide variety of presentations which have tested my developing skill set.

“The rotation has provided me with an exciting glimpse into rural general practice, and guidance for the next steps of my education and training to become a rural GP.”

The interns are helping boost Tasmania’s rural medical workforce, particularly in remote locations where services are often limited, RCS Director Dr Lizzi Shires said.

Our graduates have learnt there are many unique and rewarding aspects of practising as a rural doctor, both professionally and personally.

“We hope the interns will use their rural skills and experiences to help develop their career pathway.”

Photo: Nathan Voss playing for Currie during his King Island rural internship.

Authored by Shantelle Rodman.

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