In an exciting first for the steel city five new interns have begun their 12-month regional placements at the Whyalla Hospital.
The local placement has been made possible through the state government’s $20 million Rural Health Workforce Strategy, which will more than double the number of junior doctors training in South Australian country hospitals.
Seven new medical internships were secured through collaboration between Country Health SA and the University of Adelaide’s Adelaide Rural Clinical School with the support of State and Commonwealth funding.
The local interns will receive exposure to a broad range of emergency, inpatient, surgery and pediatric settings within the Hospital and Health Service in Whyalla while gaining of General Practice experience in Port Lincoln and Port Augusta.
Adelaide Rural Clinical School Medical Director David Mills said the placements in Whyalla are an excellent opportunity for both the new medical interns and the wider community.
“We’re being quite innovative and having these interns out in general practice where they’ll do a combination of general practice and emergency,” he said.
“In Port Augusta they will experience some pediatrics as part of the general practice rotation.”
It was the pediatrics part of the internship which attracted Canadian Sarah Stephensen to take up the opportunity in Whyalla.
“The pediatric component was a huge draw. I have friends who did placements in the emergency department in Port Lincoln and they said it was amazing.”
It was the same for Vincent Chow, who said pediatrics would be a huge component of his career if he successfully becomes a general practitioner.
“It’s good to get some of that experience early on in your career, it will be helpful for the future,” he said.
“I have done the rotation in Port Pirie previously and I love it up here. I know people who studied in Whyalla as a student and they loved it as well so I’m looking forward to working here.”
The interns began their orientation period at the Whyalla Hospital on Wednesday.