Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Mildura rotations leave students keen for rural practice

Four final year students who have undertaken final year rotations at the School of Rural Health Mildura say they'll definitely be back.

Ben Bambery, Eleanor Bulford, Jacob Jewson and Kenneth de Jong have spent their time in Mildura working across a number of areas including the hospital’s Emergency Department. The benefits of studying in a regional area are many they say.

Final year students (from left) Jacob Jewson, Kenneth de Jong, Ben Bambery and Eleanor Bulford,
say they'll be back.

“We have been exposed to more hands-on training than would have been possible in a metropolitan hospital,” Ben said. “We never felt we were at the end of a long line of doctors.”

Jacob added: “At the big emergency departments in Melbourne, there is a long line of junior doctors. We are fortunate to be exposed to many aspects of medicine and can practise our skills.”

Kenneth and Eleanor both said it was “easy to integrate into the Mildura Hospital”.

“There is a sense of community,” Kenneth said. “You know the other doctors and nurses who are always willing to help,” he added.

Next year, Ben will be at the Austin Hospital, Eleanor at St Vincent’s, Jacob at the Alfred and Kenneth at Eastern Health in Box Hill.

However because of these hospitals’ affiliation with Victorian regional hospitals they will spend parts of their year in the country.

“It would be great to return to Mildura,” they said.

Three of the four students didn’t decide to study medicine until late in secondary school.

Even though both Ben’s parents are doctors, he had no pressure to follow them into the medical field. “My two brothers are engineers,” he said. “I was initially looking at some sort of biological science course.”

Eleanor confessed to always having an interest in medicine however didn’t make her mind up until the last minute. “I was thinking of doing an arts degree,” she said.

Jacob grew up on a farm at Swan Hill, where his father was a farmer and his mother a nurse. “I knew from a young age that farming wasn’t for me,” he said. “I enjoyed science subjects and chose medicine at the end of year 12.”

Kenneth is the only one of the group who always wanted to be a doctor. “My grandparents were doctors and my mum is a nurse,” he said. “It is what I always wanted to do.”

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