Ceduna District Health Services has welcomed its first pair of medical students for 2019, with Millie Williams and Jake Rowe in town for a month.
They are two of eight fifth-year University of Adelaide students who are based at Port Lincoln for the year as part of their studies, which includes a stint in Ceduna.
They said being in Ceduna allowed the opportunity to spread their skills across different areas at the hospital.
“Everybody has been welcoming, the staff, doctors and patients, and it has been a great few weeks,” Mr Rowe said.
“You might only see somebody once in the city, but here you feel part of a team and can make a difference.”
Ms Williams added that “seeing a patient on their journey” was rewarding and something that was possible in a regional area.
The pair said they enjoyed being part of a community, but noticed the difficulties regional doctors and staff faced compared to a city setting.
“There is a big gap with staff if somebody goes away, and you are always on call for an emergency,” Ms Williams said.
“You need a bigger breadth of knowledge and more clinical confidence, you can’t just refer a patient to a specialist as easy as you would in Adelaide,” Mr Rowe added.
Medical student support coordinator Leeanne Holmes said they had made an immediate impact.
“Millie and Jake have slotted in like they’ve been here forever,” she said.
“They are working with specialists, alongside doctors, have been in theatre, and will be going out to Koonibba to help conduct a clinic there.”
The students will sit final exams at the end of the year, before further placement in their sixth year of study.
Both said they were eyeing a career in rural medicine.
“It does appeal to me, you have a role in the community and can make an impact,” Ms Williams said.
Mr Rowe said he enjoyed the lifestyle aspect and the fact it was possible to develop good relationships.