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Extra-curricular activities are encouraging young doctors training in the region to return after their placements are complete.

Wimmera Health Care Group provides training for new graduates in their first year of medicine, through a rotation agreement with the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Five groups of 13 interns rotate through Wimmera Base Hospital in Horsham each year for an average of three months each.

The health care group provides furnished accommodation for the interns close to the hospital, and an education program to continue their professional development while on rotation.

Medical workforce manager Deidre Rennick said these things and the additional outside-work experiences offered to the interns were vital in ensuring they enjoyed their time and considered returning.

“It’s a big step from university to the reality of working in a busy public hospital as a doctor for the first time,” she said.

“Added to that, many interns are a long way from their friends and families, so rely on the support of their colleagues and hospital staff.

“The interns are encouraged to stay in town on their days off and have explored the region through activities such as horse riding, rock climbing, bush walking, golfing and eating out at local pubs and restaurants.

“The tourist centre has been very supportive by preparing activity packs that the interns get on their first day. We are working with them to further tailor the packs to the interns’ interests.”

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