INTERN Hayden de Mouncey was a nurse before turning his attention to a medical degree.
And he is no stranger to the Hastings.
Dr de Mouncey, one of 16 new interns here, nursed at Port Macquarie for three and a half years.
He walked through the hospital doors again this week but this time as a new doctor.
Several factors were behind his decisions to swap careers.
“I wanted a bigger challenge,” Dr de Mouncey said.
“I was keen to be able to increase my contribution to health care in Port Macquarie and I felt the best way to do that was to study medicine.”
The new interns started their rotation at Port Macquarie Hospital.
Interns will gain broad experience during their year-long placement, rotating through regional, rural and metropolitan hospitals, as well as GP practices.
The internship includes compulsory terms in the fields of medicine, surgery and emergency.
Dr de Mouncey hopes to ultimately return to Port Macquarie.
“Rural areas need doctors, there is no doubt about that, and I prefer the lifestyle,” he said.
Returning to Port Macquarie was a homecoming for intern Dr Andrew Stevens.
Dr Stevens grew up in Port Macquarie and graduated with a medical degree from the University of New England.
“I was really attracted to coming home to the beaches and the warmer weather,” he said.
Dr Stevens said it was exciting to start his internship locally.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams, Acting Premier and Oxley MP Andrew Stoner and Mid North Coast Local Health District chief executive Stewart Dowrick welcomed the interns on Wednesday.
A record 925 interns started work from Monday across the state’s hospital network.