AFTER being selected to spend a year in Orange as part of her medical training, Sophie Leathem considers herself extremely lucky to have secured such a desirable placement.
Ms Leathem, who has just started the fourth year of her study via the University of Sydney’s school of rural health, said Orange provides the best of both worlds.
Originally from New Zealander, Ms Leathem has already completed the majority of her undergraduate studies in Sydney however thanks to the school of rural health she was able to take up a regional training placement in Orange.
Ms Leathem says Orange has a good reputation among budding doctors as a great place to train and live.
“It’s absolutely fantastic here,” she said.
“Orange is highly desired amongst students.”
Ms Leathem said students who come to Orange are able to take advantage of a more personal style of teaching while enjoying the “nice lifestyle” on offer.
“There’s lots of open spaces, and everyone’s more friendly ... and the food and wine is absolutely outstanding.”
Like other students in the rural health program, last year Ms Leathem travelled from Sydney to Orange and Dubbo to check out the facilities and training on offer.
It was this trip that prompted her to apply to move to Orange.
“I was very impressed,” she said.
There are currently 17 school of rural health medical students in Orange, along with another 16 students in Dubbo with another crop expected to arrive early next year.
Ms Leathem said she can see very few disadvantages in temporarily relocating to Orange for 12 months, however admits it can be hard for people who still have family in Sydney.
When it comes to first-hand medical experience while here Ms Leathem expect to be involved in the treatment of a myriad of common accidents and illnesses.
“The only thing you might not see are rare illnesses or diseases or very complicated surgery,” she said
When she finishes her training Ms Leathem expects to return to Sydney to complete her speciality training, possibly in accident and emergency or intensive care medicine, and said she will then consider returning to Orange to live.
“I think anyone who’s done their training here is more likely to want to return,” she said.
The deputy head of the school of rural health doctor Gabriel Shannon said this is a great time of year for his facility.
“We all enjoy having a new cohort of students on campus,” he said.
“We have had past medical students take up roles as interns, junior medical officers and registrars, general practitioners, staff specialists and visiting medical officers.
“We are confident that we will have the same success with this current cohort of medical students.” Dr Shannon said.