IN TERNS: Audrey Buchannan, Chris Longhurst and Dr Stephen Flecknoe-Brown at the first day of orientation for intern doctors.
IN TERNS: Audrey Buchannan, Chris Longhurst and Dr Stephen Flecknoe-Brown at the first day of orientation for intern doctors. Mike Knott BUN150118INTERN1

Interns can't get enough of Bundaberg

THERE'S a few new faces, and some old ones, popping up within the region's hospital wards this month, as new medical graduates undergo their first internship in the Rum City.

After years of study and dedication to the theory of medicine, the interns now get a hands-on and diverse range of opportunities within the medical field.

With 18 people scrubbing up for the first time, Director of Clinical Training Stephen Flecknoe-Brown said 14 interns out of last year's 20, have returned to the Bundaberg region.

"While we call it education, it's more than that,” he said.

"These are whole people - they have a body that we have to look after, ensure they aren't fatigued and going to make mistakes, make sure their working conditions are suitable and that they have hearts and souls; we want them to feel valued, part of the team and supported.

"The first year we know the shock factor is the greatest but so are the learning opportunities and experiences.”

One of this year's interns is Bundy-born Christopher Longhurst, who said working in local wards felt like coming home.

"It's quite exciting, finishing uni and getting an income. It's great to finally get out in the real world,” Mr Longhurst said.

"I was born and grew up in Bundaberg so for me it's like coming home; I like the smaller town and country feel, while giving back to the community. When you're in a regional area, travel can certainly have an impact on the community.”

Aubrey Buchanan travelled from Canada to undertake her post-graduate and internship in Australia.

"I'm very excited to get started here with lots of support,” she said.

"As an international, you're not guaranteed a spot and I applied for an internship in every state - Bundaberg was number one in Queensland and I got the job.

"It's really nice to have a first pick, not a lot of internationals get their first choice. It's beautiful here, it's not cold at all, there's beautiful beaches and lovely people.”

Ms Buchanan said while she has an interest in anaesthetics and clinical care, the interning year will provide some clarity in where she wants to end up.

Mr Flecknoe-Brown said programs like this are vital to correct the distribution of medical graduates between the metropolitan area and regional areas

"The more time that doctors in training spend in regional areas, the more inclined they are to come back and look after the regional areas.”



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