THREE years into an 11 year stint at university studying medicine, Victorian man David Townsend is committed to a life in the bush.
He arrived in town on Sunday night and was amazed at the beauty of Orange. He will spend two weeks here as part of the NSW Rural Doctor Network Program to encourage specialists to the bush.
“I drove into town last night and it was perfect,” he said.
Mr Townsend wants to practice medicine in a rural town because he wants to have a strong relationship within a community. A relationship that might be lost in a metropolitan area.
“You can deliver children and if you stay around for 20 years you could then be delivering their children,” he said.
The Rural Doctors Network administers the Bush Bursary and Country Women’s Association scholarships which provide students with $3000 for one year.
Mr Townsend will spend his time in Orange working with a general practitioner, an anaesthetic team at Orange Health Service and an obstetrician. He will also spend two Friday nights thrown into the emergency department to get a feel for what life is like in a hospital.
Mayor John Davis said Orange City Council supported the program. Orange has more than 90 specialists yet there was still a shortage.
“Bathurst have specialists in the low teens and Dubbo has less than that,” he said.
Part of the reason Mr Townsend chose Orange for his placement was because he had heard of the new hospital. Cr Davis said Mr Townsend’s choice was testament to the viability of the $290 million facility.
“It’s not just for Orange it’s a precinct for the central west,” Cr Davis said.
Mr Townsend said he would seriously consider relocating to Orange.
“It’s the right size for me,” he said.
“Not too big, not too small.”