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Forty-six interns start with Darling Downs Health

19 February 2021


Forty-six new doctors have started the next phase of their careers with Darling Downs Health.

Darling Downs Health Chief Executive Dr Peter Gillies welcomed the record number of interns, who started on their ward rounds in mid-January.

“It was an absolute pleasure to welcome our 46 interns, which is a record intake, to Darling Downs Health,” Dr Gillies said.

“After orientation at Toowoomba Hospital in mid-January the majority have continued their intern year here, while others have gone to locations including Stanthorpe and Warwick hospitals, as well as general practices in Toowoomba, Clifton and Goondiwindi.

“Ten of this year’s interns have joined the Queensland Rural Generalist Pathway, in preparation for careers in general practice in regional areas, which is great to see given the number of rural and regional communities we serve.”

Darling Downs Health Director of Clinical Training Dr Sheree Conroy said the orientation was a key component in preparing the new doctors to hit the ground running when they started ward rounds.

“Orientation was about getting our interns ready to use their training, and we also looked at what makes working for Darling Downs Health a unique experience,” Dr Conroy said.

“We covered the mandatory training that all new staff complete when they join Darling Downs Health and we placed a lot of emphasis on practical sessions, including core skills like advanced life support, managing a deteriorating patient and prescription of medication.

“One of the most important aspects of orientation was when the interns got to spend time alongside a junior doctor who, at around the same time 12 months ago, was in exactly the same situation, going through orientation and about to start putting their training into practice.

“This allowed the interns to learn from real-life experience and get prepared for working on a ward.

“Now that they’ve started their ward rounds it’s a very busy part of the year with a lot to take in so we always strive let our young doctors know that our Medical Education team is here and available to support them at all times.”

Dr Tess Hazel is one of this year’s interns continuing at Toowoomba Hospital.

“In my clinical years I was at a smaller rural hospital and I loved it,” Dr Hazel said.

“You get to know everybody, it’s more hands-on, and you have more access to the community, which I’m excited to be part of.”
Fellow intern Dr Nathaniel Price is another young doctor who chose Toowoomba Hospital.

“I’m from Brisbane via Sydney where I did medical school and did my final year in Ballarat, and I really enjoyed that,” Dr Price said.

“Coming home to Queensland was a big attraction, I’m really looking forward to getting some experience in emergency and general surgery and I’m excited for the year in general.”

Dr Nicolas Dore is another 2021 intern looking to advance his career in a non-metropolitan setting.

“I grew up in Roma and when I finished training I wanted to come back to the bush and Toowoomba was the option closest to home,” Dr Dore said.

“I’d like to end up being a GP, so I’m doing the Queensland Rural Generalist Pathway and hoping to do an advanced skill in emergency or psychiatry.”

Dr Conroy said another record number interns of spoke volumes for the quality of experience on offer to young doctors who chose to continue their careers with Darling Downs Health.

“For the past few years we’ve seen increasing numbers of interns coming to Toowoomba Hospital,” Dr Conroy said.

“We had 40 in 2018, 45 in 2019 and again in 2020, and 46 this year, which underlines the fact that Toowoomba Hospital is an excellent place to learn.

“We have excellent retention rates for second and third-year doctors and there are a number of senior staff who did their internships here and have come back later as staff specialists, myself included.

“This is an exciting phase in the careers of our interns and we wish them all the very best for the future.”

Last updated: 19 February 2021