Just what the doctor ordered: rural medic reaps rewards for dedication

WINNING WAYS: Health Education and Training Institute junior medical officer of the year Dr Shannon Townsend with Orange Health Service director of prevocational education and training Dr Jo Rainbow.  Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0821sgshannon3

WINNING WAYS: Health Education and Training Institute junior medical officer of the year Dr Shannon Townsend with Orange Health Service director of prevocational education and training Dr Jo Rainbow. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0821sgshannon3

DOCTOR Shannon Townsend says she is honoured and bit surprised to be named the Health Education and Training Institute’s junior medical officer of the year for her contribution to the education and support of her peers.

Dr Townsend began working at Orange Health Service last year, fulfilling her dream to work in rural medicine, having grown up in Wongarbon near Dubbo.

Dr Townsend said she jumped at the chance to work in Orange.

“I always wanted to work at a rural hospital and Orange hospital has a lot of clinical services,” she said.

“I also like the lifestyle here and the sense of community within the town itself, and out at the hospital as well.”

Dr Townsend said when it came to training, rural hospitals allowed young doctors to treat a wide range of medical conditions, helping patients drawn from a large catchment.

“You also get to have much more hands-on experience,” she said.

Down the track Dr Townsend hopes to specialise in paediatric emergency medicine, perhaps working as part of a helicopter retrieval team.

The health service’s director of prevocational education and training Dr Jo Rainbow said Dr Townsend was an exemplary junior doctor.

“[She’s] diligent, efficient with a delightful bedside manner,” Dr Rainbow said.

“Shannon is also an excellent ambassador for Orange, representing us at recruitment evenings. 

“Invariably, interviewees mention that one of the reasons that they applied to Orange was the positive impression that Shannon made.”

While at Orange Health Service, Dr Townsend has undertaken several research projects.

Her current project is developing a toolkit for medical interns to help them build their skills and improve their efficiency. 

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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