ELISE Butler wants to learn to be a doctor in Orange.
Ms Butler is one of four students who participated in the NSW Rural Doctors Network who wants to stay here for at least another 12 months until she finishes her degree. Ms Butler studies a bachelor of medicine and a bachelor of surgery. She arrived in Orange in January from the University of Sydney.
Ideally she wants to complete her internship and residency in a rural setting. She said her main motivation was the support she received from staff at Orange Health Service.
“You don’t get lost in the crowd,” she said.
“It’s a small community thing you’re better supported when people know who you are.”
She said Orange hospital was not what she had in mind when she first learnt she would be coming to Orange.
“I was surprised at how modern it is,” she said.
“Orange is quite impressive for a country town.
“I didn’t expect it to have as many specialties as it does.”
Ms Butler is one of 16 students participating in placements in rural towns as part of the program. The program is designed to attract and retain medical, nursing and allied health professionals to the bush.
The Rural Doctors Network administers the Bush Bursary and Country Women’s Association scholarships, which provide students with $3000 for one year, during which time they spend two weeks in their sponsoring rural area experiencing work and life in a rural community.
As well as spending time with local GPs and other medical specialists, the scholarship recipients visit allied and community health services including pharmacies, aged care facilities and Aboriginal medical services.
She said she believed staff at Orange Health Service were better treated than their metropolitan counterparts. A big factor in her decision to stay in the bush.
“You get paid well, you get overtime,” she said.
“You make really good contacts.”