NSW Health has welcomed a record number of interns to the fold in 2021, including 125 in the Hunter-New England Local Health District (HNELHD) alone.
More than 1,000 med students will begin work within the industry this year, the most of any state or territory in Australia, according to NSW Health acting deputy secretary Richard Griffiths.
“These junior medical officers join NSW Health at a remarkable time in our history,” he said.
“They come to us in the middle of an unprecedented, world-wide pandemic and have the unique opportunity to play a vital role in in our extraordinary health system.”
In 2021, NSW boasts 1,041 intern positions, an increase of 35 per cent since 2011.
Of these roles, 150 belong to the Rural Preferential Recruitment scheme, in which med students undertake the majority of their training in rural hospitals.
This has doubled in number since 2012.
“This innovation was designed to encourage interns to work in rural hospitals once they finished their medical school training,” Mr Griffiths said.
“The new doctors starting their internship will be entering a training program with networked hospitals throughout the state, providing formal and on-the-job training.
“They receive two-year contracts to rotate between metropolitan, regional and rural hospitals to ensure the diversity of their experience.
“They also join different units in each hospital, including surgery and emergency medicine.
“Interns are medical graduates who have completed their degree and are required to complete a supervised year of practice in order to become independent practitioners.”
Joining the HNELHD ranks in 2021 include Allison Cooper, Nicholas Rainnie, Benjamin Corbett and Margaret Harris.
Dr Ally Cooper completed her studies at The University of Newcastle and plans to become a rural GP specialising in emergency medicine.
She is originally from Sydney and completed a full year of training at the Manning Base Hospital in Taree during her fourth year of study.
She said the opportunity to work and support regional communities appealed to her and her partner, who is also a doctor.
Dr Nick Rainnie finished his studies in Wagga through the ADF (Australian Defence Force).
He had planned on a career in engineering before a conversation with a doctor friend just before graduating high school convinced him to study medicine.
Dr Rainnie said the opportunity to serve his community, problem solving and being part of a highly-functional team were among the things he loved most about working in medicine.
Dr Ben Corbett is originally from Orange in the state’s Central West and studied science teaching at university, before shifting to medicine.
He said he was inspired by his wife, a doctor working as an OB-GYN, to pursue a career in medicine and found it both mentally challenging and engaging.
Dr Corbett completed his studies at The University of New England at Armidale and is focused on a career working in the critical care space.
Dr Margaret Harris spent 25 years working as a paramedic in Tasmania and Victoria before moving to Newcastle to study medicine.
She said she was proof that it was never too late to try something new.
Dr Harris has interests in emergency and intensive care medicine and encouraged all aspiring doctors to follow their dreams, no matter their age or background.