Record injection of new doctors


TAMWORTH hospital will welcome 11 new junior doctors to its ranks in 2014, part of a record intake for Hunter New England Health. 

The health district has 112 graduate doctors beginning their two-year contracts this year, the majority having their first day on the job on Monday.

They’re currently completing a two-week orientation before starting 10-week rotations through the various hospital departments.

Junior medical officer network manager Jeanette Chadban said it was a great sign so many new doctors had chosen to complete their post-graduate training with the health district. 

“Hunter New England Health has a strong reputation for offering high quality training and professional development programs and this year we have a record number of new starters,” she said.

Among the Tamworth intake are Heather Allard, Ariana Arulampalam, Justin Gladman and Jayne Schofield.

Jayne, 47, and Heather, 34, both completed their degrees at the University of New England, Ariana, 24, is a Newcastle University graduate and Justin, 37, went to Flinders University.

They all agreed they’d chosen Tamworth hospital because of what it offered graduates. 

“Tamworth has a good reputation for training and supporting junior doctors,” Justin said. 

“It has great opportunities for my family and we also have other family in Tamworth.”

The four have also been assisted for the past two years under the NSW Rural Doctors Network’s (RDN) cadetship scheme which has given them financial support.

Worth more than the money though, they all said, was the chance to meet and work with rural practitioners that had been the most attractive part of the scholarship.

Other RDN cadets had also recommended the Tamworth training programs.

Heather and Ariana are both city girls, but they have no desire to return home to continue their careers.

Ariana, from Sydney, said she’d done a GP placement in Tamworth for two weeks in 2010 and had found the work much more varied than she had during similar placements in Newcastle.

Growing up in Brisbane, Heather agreed, saying she’d known right from the start that she wanted to practise in a rural or regional area.

A tour of Tamworth hospital with the RDN was all it took to convince her the city was the place for her, and  at this point she has every intention of staying.

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