Orange Health Service has welcomed 17 new interns, with eight staying on after studying at the hospital through the School of Rural Health last year.
During the first year, the junior doctors will complete compulsory terms in the specialties of medicine, surgery and emergency.
Their second year will focus on consolidating professional practice and experience in different clinical settings.
Orange Health Service medial director Dr Sid Vohra said there were more than 100 applications for the 17 intern positions in Orange.
“I’ve been in Orange just under a year now and was positively surprised at how competitive it was,” Dr Vohra said.
The new interns include 10 former students from the University of Sydney, eight of whom studied in Orange last year through the School of Rural Health.
I picked Orange because we were both happy with the town.Ben Needham
Among them was Kiril Williams who said some of them spent their third and fourth year of study in Orange and they liked the hospital and region so much they decided to stay.
“We had that background knowledge,” he said.
Mr Williams comes from the Blue Mountains and said although he and many of the other interns liked Orange, some fields such as critical care, which he plans to do, require further experience at busier hospitals in Sydney.
He said by the time that further training and experience is done, he and his colleagues may have established themselves with homes and families, which they won’t want to uproot.
“Without rural positions it’s really difficult,” Mr Williams said.
Some of the other interns such as Grace Meulman and Hayley Collins grew up in Central West and Orange regions.
VIDEO: Kiril Williams tells Rick Colless and Kate Hazelton what he does day-to-day ...
However, Ben Needham came from Sydney and decided to do his internship here because his partner Alice Marsh was one of the eight fourth year School of Rural Health students who studied in Orange and decided to stay for her internship.
“Last year I had placements in a couple of rural hospitals both Dubbo and Lismore and my partner was here for the year,” Mr Needham said.
He said he also spent one month in Orange.
“I picked Orange because we were both happy with the town,” he said.
He said the social and sporting aspects as well as having a big group of friends who applied for the internship also helped.
However, he said he is also leaning towards critical care in emergency or anaesthetics, which will take him to Sydney, while Miss Marsh plans to be a country GP.
Another intern Ben Ryall also moved his family including two young children to Orange.
The junior doctors were welcomed to the region by state political representatives Member for Orange Phil Donato and Parliamentary Secretary for Western NSW Rick Colless.
Mr Colless met with some of them on Friday and said there were also seven interns starting in Bathurst and 12 in Dubbo.
“NSW with 1021 intern positions – up from 999 last year – has more intern positions than any other state or territory, up 251 positions – or 32 positions – or 32 per cent – since 2011,” he said.
“The NSW government invests around $107 million in our internship program each year.”
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