A stint in a medical clinic along the Murray River at Cobram was the perfect fit for a medical intern with a passion for tourism and the outdoors.
Sean Daughtery has been with the Cobram Medical Clinic since January as part of a rural general practitioner training program after studying a post-graduate medical degree.
The Murray to Mountains program has been running since 2012 and is designed to attract and equip trainees in a true rural medical experience, including large and small rural hospital exposure, delivering specialist services from small rural hospitals and working as a general practitioner in rural communities.
It started out with partner health services Cobram District Health, Numurkah District Health, Yarrawonga Health and Mt Beauty and Myrtleford Alpine Health campuses, and since then has grown to include a number of other practices and health services.
Mr Daugherty said there were 14 interns in the project this year.
He said the program was great because it offered real-world experience at country hospitals and a great opportunity to get experience not just as a GP but also across other fields.
‘‘It’s really set up to give people an early insight into the role of a GP. It’s an interesting year after medical school,’’ he said.
‘‘I think it’s a great way to get people into a GP-saturated environment where you get plenty of exposure to different things, especially that you might not get in metropolitan areas.
‘‘It’s a great opportunity to get experience and still do a core rotation.’’
Training as a GP is a significant career change for Mr Daugherty, who previously worked in the adventure tourism industry in regional and remote areas, including Victoria’s snowfields.
Interns typically spend 30 weeks on rotation in location.
Cobram Medical Clinic practice manager Sue Gilham said the program helped accelerate interns’ development while providing education and training.
‘‘Each program is very comprehensive and it allows students and graduates to prepare for clinical practice,’’ she said.