Nikunj Parikh had a baptism of fire into country medical practice and he couldn’t get enough.
The young doctor spent three months in Broken Hill last year and enjoyed “being away from crazy city places” so much that he convinced his dentist wife to come to Dubbo.
Dr Parikh was one of 12 metropolitan GP registrars – doctors in their final years of specialist training – who arrived in Dubbo yesterday for at least six months of general practice in the region.
“I really enjoyed my time in Broken Hill so when I was offered a rural rotation in Dubbo I couldn’t wait to sign up,” he said.
His wife being a city lass, Dr Parikh decided Dubbo was a gentler introduction to the bush.
“Dubbo is still a really decent-sized place with excellent facilities and very accessible, but still has the small-town feel about it,” he said.
“I love rural medicine because people are really keen on teaching, you get to know all your patients personally, it’s often more social than Sydney and everyone’s very supportive.”
Mary Wong was also attracted to the more personal approach of country medicine, but wasn’t lucky enough to have her spouse in tow.
“I really wanted to come to the country – people always say you learn a lot doing rural medicine, the patients are more approachable and it’s very hands-on,” she said.
“But unfortunately my husband can’t leave his job so we’re apart for six months.”
She described as “weird” the laidback attitude of her supervising doctors.
“I’ve met all the doctors I’m learning under and it’s weird – they’re really nice and friendly,” she laughed.
“It’s quite different to city hospitals.”
While six months is the minimum time both doctors must spend in the bush, Dr Parikh hasn’t discounted the idea of staying.
“My wife is looking for work in Dubbo as a dentist and I think we might like to hang around a bit longer.”
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