A NEW group of interns has arrived at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.
The 11 new doctors have completed a week-long orientation in readiness for being teamed up through a buddy system with the current interns.
February 6 marks the start of their clinical year.
Intern Dr Callum Barnes grew up at Bonny Hills and studied medicine at the University of NSW.
Four years of the undergraduate degree were in Sydney before he spent the final two years at the UNSW Rural Clinical School Port Macquarie Campus.
The 23-year-old’s mother, Dr Lorraine Evans, is a GP at Lake Cathie.
The lifestyle here won over Dr Barnes when it came time for his internship.
“I like the lifestyle, I’ve had the last two years here, and I have a lot of friends and family,” he said.
Dr Barnes plans to work in a rural area once his medical training is complete.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams welcomed the interns on January 27.
The new doctors will undertake a year-long internship at Port Macquarie Base Hospital in 2017.
“I’m so pleased these new doctors will undertake their internship at our local hospital,” she said.
“Every intern will benefit from the support and direction of our clinicians.”
Pre-vocational education and training director Associate Professor David McDonald said teamwork was crucial.
“The interns have a very important job, because they are the link between the patients, nurses and senior doctors,” he said.
“They have to be good communicators, they have to be reliable and they have to be organised.”
NSW funds more medical intern positions than any other state or territory.
In 2017, 992 interns will start at hospitals around the state - up from 983 in 2016.
This record number of intern doctors represents a state government funding commitment of $107 million.
The 2017 cohort of interns also includes 12 Aboriginal medical graduates.
“I wish all interns the best for what I am sure will be a very informative and exciting year,” Mrs Williams said.
“Five of the new interns are locals and no doubt they are excited about the opportunity to return to their hometown in their first year as medical graduates.”
NSW is the only state to offer two-year employment contracts to medical graduates.
The internship is followed by a year which focuses on consolidating professional practice and experience in different clinical settings.
The interns will complete compulsory terms in the specialties of medicine, surgery and emergency.