Flinders University Rural and Remote Health SA is encouraging rural people to pursue a career in health or medicine.
Pre-Vocational Registrar Dr Jacinta Clark and Locum Senior Resident Dr Davina Lovegrove studied at the Mount Gambier Flinders University campus for 12 months during their third year of medical school in 2017.
Dr Clark grew up in Mount Gambier before moving to Adelaide for medical school and Ms Lovegrove is from Lismore, New South Wales, and both now work at the Mount Gambier Hospital.
Dr Clark said she enjoyed working rurally, however it was a big adjustment from her previous workplace at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
“You get to know your patients better, you see the patients through the clinic and then on labour ward and then after they have had their baby,” she said.
“The hands-on experience has definitely been more than what I would have gotten elsewhere and I work a lot closer with my consultants here.
“You get that one-on-one a bit more often, whereas if you’re part of a bigger team you do not get that quite as often.
“I have had the chance to do lots of assisting in surgery and starting to do my own surgeries here with that one-on-one supervision.”
Dr Lovegrove has worked rurally for three years, previously working at the Lismore Base Hospital.
“I know my consultant doctors much more closely, they seem more approachable,” she said.
“I think there’s more opportunity to get to know them outside of just ward rounds, I think you do build better relationships with the senior doctors.
“I think because it’s a smaller hospital, you do get to know other staff more, you know the nurses, the nurses know you.”
Both doctors said building relationships with patients, continuity of care and getting to know their whole team were benefits to working rurally and many Flinders medical students previously worked in diverse careers such as engineering, arts and law.
“The program for Flinders really does get a really diverse group of doctors, people who are interested in different things with different skillsets,” Dr Lovegrove said.