The Flinders NT Regional Training Hub recently hosted a networking event for Interns and Year Four Medical students, to meet with doctors working in Alice Springs.
Dr Sam Heard, Medical Director of the Regional Training Hub (Hub), Central Australia, spoke of the work currently being undertaken by the Hub including the development of our training pathway documents that provide information on medical training that can be undertaken in the Northern Territory, and how the Hub can support them to navigate these pathways.
Several Consultants from the Alice Springs Hospital very generously gave their time to talk about their speciality areas. The consultants included: Dr Deb Fearon (Paediatrics), Dr Marcus Tabart (Psychology), Dr Megan Brown (Nephrology), and Rosalie Schultz (Public Health Physician and Flinders NT PhD Candidate).
The doctors shared personal accounts of how they made their speciality choices and the pathway that led them to work in Alice Springs. A common theme was how it took some time for them to settle on their specialty. Dr Tabart spoke of how he realised that surgery was not for him and how he eventually settled on psychology. Dr Schultz originally obtained another speciality and spoke of how her work in that field led her to a career in Public Health. Another common theme was that working within Alice Springs provided them with exposure to a wide and interesting range of experiences and sub specialties whilst dealing with complex issues, and those opportunities would not be available in larger city-based hospitals.
Other topics of interest included the impact of the Return of Service Agreement that the NTMP medical students undertake and the role of the Specialist Colleges in the setting of benchmarks for the accreditation of hospital training positions.
Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and talk in an informal manner about specialised post-graduate medical training in the Northern Territory. The students and Interns have yet to make determinations about their specialties and were curious about how and when the specialists had made their decisions.
The Flinders NT Regional Training Hub would like to express a big thank you to those who contributed to the success of the event and it looks forward to hosting further events and working with key stakeholders to strengthen opportunities in graduate and post-graduate medical training, and working towards a sustainable, skilled medical workforce for the Northern Territory.