Warm welcome

GIPPSLAND is proving a preferred destination for Monash University graduates, with all 10 of this year’s intake to the Gippsland Regional Intern Training program undertaking their medical studies through the university.

Seven of the group already have a close association with the area, having undertaken much of their training through the School of Rural Health’s Gippsland Regional Clinical School, East Gippsland Regional Clinical School and were enrolled at the Gippsland Medical School at Churchill.

Those seven include Derek Pol, Sarah Wilmot, Andrew Thomas, Danielle Winkelman, Sharon Johnson, Shane Robbins and Ruth Briggs.

The other three new interns are Tom Walsh, Steph Pong and Elisabeth Hatzistavrou, who completed their MBBS at Monash Clayton. Having seven former students returning as interns is a record for the Monash University School of Rural Health. Gippsland Regional Clinical School acting director, Associate Professor Elmer Villanueva, said having a large number of former students remain in Gippsland to begin their medical careers was a wonderful outcome for the Monash University School of Rural Health program and for the local hospitals.

“One of the reasons for running the Monash University medical training programs in regions like Gippsland is to encourage medical graduates to consider practising in the local area at some stage of their careers,” Professor Elmer Villanueva said.

“Having seven of the 10 places on the GRIT program filled by graduates who have undertook a large part of their studies in Gippsland is encouraging for our program, and also indicates the esteem in which local hospitals are held by students.”

The major campus of the Gippsland Regional Clinical School is based at the Latrobe Regional Hospital, and students undertake part of their training in the hospital setting.

One of interns, Sharon Johnson, was attracted back by her experience as a student and because she feels at home in the region.

“My experience in Gippsland Regional Clinical School has been very rewarding, and I feel that I have been well-supported throughout my training by both administrative and clinical staff.