SIXTEEN medical interns undertaking their rotation at Tamworth hospital this year are among a record 925 interns beginning work across the state this week.
The year-long placement will see interns gain experience in regional, rural and metropolitan hospitals, as well as in GP practices.
The internship includes compulsory time in medicine, surgery and emergency.
Twelve of these interns will call Tamworth their home hospital for the next two years, while the other four will spend time in the city on 10-week rotations.
Among the new doctors is Lauren Paton, who studied at the universities of NSW and Sydney.
“I chose to work in Tamworth because I figure I can turn to country music if medicine doesn’t work out,” Dr Paton joked.
She said rural areas offered a more relaxed lifestyle and more generalist training, and she hoped to become a GP with procedural skills in obstetrics.
Another intern is University of Wollongong graduate Benjamin Thomas, who hopes to work in palliative care or medical oncology.
“Tamworth struck me as a good combination of a ‘big-enough’ hospital, in terms of bed size and terms, while still having a small-enough group of interns that we’d all know each other,” Dr Thomas said.
“Tamworth has an excellent reputation for training and for junior staff support.”
This year’s statewide intake of interns is almost 80 more than last year’s.
“Rural and regional hospitals offer a unique experience to interns and I commend all those choosing to move to our country towns to deliver the best health care for local patients,” Health Minister Jillian Skinner said.
“This will be a life-changing experience for some young doctors, who may choose to stay on in rural and regional areas.”