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Rural doctors hone skills at Toowoomba workshop

DOCTORS preparing for the next stage of a career in rural medicine have honed their skills during a workshop in Toowoomba.

The Rural Generalist Pathway's Anaesthetic Introductory Program was coordinated by the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service's Cunningham Centre last week with 14 participants, all of whom were at least three years out of graduation.

Director of Rural Generalist Training Dr James Telfer said the five-day workshop was preparing them for the next 12 months in anaesthetics training.

"They basically are getting a head start on the year by getting exposed to just about everything they'll do in anaesthetics in 12 months and hopefully that will allow them to get up to speed and actually gain further skills," he said.

Students James Boland and Marika Goodman. Queensland Rural Medical Education anaesthetics training .  Thursday Jan 19, 2017.
Students James Boland and Marika Goodman. Queensland Rural Medical Education anaesthetics training . Thursday Jan 19, 2017. Nev Madsen

"Unlike specialist anaesthetists where they'll be in a theatre for the vast majority of their career, once they have finished this 12 months they go out to a rural centre where they are essentially practising as a GP."

James Boland, 25, and Marika Goodman, 28, are three years and four years out of medical school respectively and hope to work in rural communities.

"We have both chosen to follow rural generalist pathway and as part of that we do a year of anaesthetics training to prepare ourselves and help support a birthing service in rural communities," Ms Goodman said.

"You get to do a bit of everything, you are not a specialist doctor in a hospital, I can do a bit of anaesthetics, a bit of GP work and you don't really know what you are going to see in a rural community."

Mr Boland grew up on a banana farm in far north Queensland and said he had seen the struggles rural town had to get medical staff to come and to stay.

"So I thought it was the ideal career for me because it's a good balance of different things," he said.

"I think there is a number of skills that anaesthetics training gives you that gives you confidence to manage quick sick patients that will present to your local emergency departments."

The trainee doctors will spend time at hospitals including Mackay, Cairns and Toowoomba.

Topics:  doctor toowoomba


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