In 2012 the Newcastle Herald complained that student doctors trained in the city were being forced to look overseas for work placements due to a lack of internships in the state health system.
Now I see from the Newcastle Herald that Hunter New England Health has taken on 112 graduate doctors for 2014, up from 63 interns last year.
Of that number 101 started their rotations this week and will move around different hospitals in the region including John Hunter, Belmont, Calvary Mater hospitals.
Five will be based permanently at Manning and Maitland hospitals and another 11 at Tamworth.
Manager of Hunter New England’s prevocational junior medical officer network, Jeanette Chadban, said the reason they’d increased their intake so drastically to deal with the high number of students graduating.
In earlier news, the University of New England reported in December that the long road to a medical career in the bush had started at the University as potential doctors swat up for their first step, the selection panel interview.
Admission into the 2014 Bachelor of Medicine – Joint Medical Program between UNE and the University of Newcastle, is so highly sought that students must pass a gruelling six-month assessment process designed to identify those applicants most likely to succeed in their studies and eventually make good rural Doctors.
Acting Head of UNE Rural Medical School John Nevin said a career in rural medicine requires more than just a record of outstanding HSC and undergraduate achievements.
“From more than 3000 students who sat the Universities Medical Admissions Test in May this year, only about 170 will be invited to enrol in 2014,” Professor Nevin said.
He said during selection week applicants will sit through eight separate interviews, designed to assess everything from reasoning, comprehension and expression to compassion, motivation and importantly, an understanding of the career they intend to enter.
“It’s a long road to graduation, so the assessment process is by necessity tough. We want to make sure we select people with the greatest potential to stick with the program all the way to the end.”