Benefits of being the ‘new Doc’ in town


With a love of smaller communities with friendly people, Izak Mentz knew that choosing the Flinders University MD Rural Stream was a natural choice – and he has not been disappointed.

Originally from South Africa, Izak moved to Australia with his family at the age of four settling in Wallaroo on Yorke Peninsula where at school he enjoyed biology, physical education and chemistry.

“I knew I wanted to do something involving the science of the human body in my profession one day,” Izak says.  “I weighed up fields like physiotherapy, chemistry, pharmacy, and various others and eventually I thought paramedics sounded the most fun.

“It was the fact you aren’t confined to one room or building all day every day; you get called to new locations every day. While studying my paramedic science degree, I realised I had a hunger to learn more – I enjoyed paramedicine but found myself wanting to learn what happens to all the patients we take to emergency departments.

“I wanted the opportunity to be that person implementing those further steps of care and that of course landed me in medicine.”

Part of the community he serves

Izak is now part of the student cohort currently training in the Greater Green Triangle region, based in Naracoorte where he has quickly become part of the community he serves, enjoying the inclusive nature of regional communities.

He says simply walking down the main street he is greeted by complete strangers who recognise him as “the new Doc in town”.

“I also love the atmosphere around sporting clubs in rural towns – in my experience a larger proportion of individuals in rural towns care about or are involved in their local sporting club compared to the average suburb in a larger city like Adelaide.”

Access to the best training

The benefits of being a part of the MD Rural Stream however goes much further beyond belonging to a community, it is also the opportunities and access to the very best training.

“I have really appreciated the variety of work in Naracoorte and the quality of doctors coming down,” he says. “Most weeks consist of Monday to Friday on placement, with Wednesdays off for a study day in Mount Gambier with my other colleagues in the region.

“On top of this, one day a week I am usually in theatre with a visiting surgeon, and one week every month I get to spend in the hospital and emergency department which is awesome too.

“A lot of the visiting surgeons have been very senior, with a few of them being the heads of their respective fields in their tertiary hospitals – most students in the city probably would not get to meet them, let alone be assisting them in theatre.”

Following his university studies, Izak says he hopes to become a rural GP or generalist specialist.

“There are still so many fields of medicine I have yet to experience, and I have so much to still consider. Who knows, maybe I’ll fall in love with surgery, or decide psychiatry is the path for me. That is one of the best things about medicine – the options feel endless!”

Learn more about studying Medicine at Flinders


Learn more about opportunities through Flinders Rural and Remote Health SA

Posted in

Leave a Reply