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Doctors pass the scalpel to new interns

After her year as an Ipswich Hospital medical intern, Dr Emma Hamilton is watching on as 35 new medical interns begin the next stage of their medical career.

Dr Hamilton spent 2019 in their shoes and knows the year ahead for the new medical interns will be full of professional and personal challenges.

“It’s absolutely been a rollercoaster, it’s certainly very different to medical school,” she said.

“It’s a very steep learning curve to begin with, and most of that is very enjoyable – you’re finally utilising those skills you’ve worked so hard to learn.”

Dr Hamilton said looking at the new cohort reminded her of her first day.

“I remember looking at the doctors who had finished their first year and wondering how they learnt so much in that time, and if I would be able to do the same.

“Now on the other side you realise just how much you can do in your placements and the experience you can gain here,” she said.

Ipswich Hospital medical intern Dr Emma Hamilton reflects on her first year last year as a medical intern.

“It’s also been an amazing year of clinical growth and knowledge, which is so different to student life. The sense of responsibility you have as a medical intern is fantastic.”

Dr Hamilton said her advice to the new medical interns is simply to utilise their support system. 

“Don’t think that working at a regional hospital is any easier than at the city hospitals – it’s extraordinarily busy here, with a growing and very diverse population who can live a long way away from the hospital.”

“Medical interns also need to learn when to say no, and to switch off outside of work. You get trained to work hard in medical school, but when you step into the medical intern role you also need to know your limits, because hospitals never stop.”

The new medical interns join a week-long orientation program to familiarise themselves with the hospital, its services and clinical practice and procedures before beginning rotations through a variety of units that may include general medicine, surgery, emergency medicine and additional elective terms in other specialised areas.

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Kerrie Freeman congratulated the 35 medical interns on their appointments. 

“These men and women are poised to embark on an incredible experience within health care working alongside West Moreton Health people who love their role caring for the community.

“This will be a huge year for our medical interns and they can expect to find a supportive training environment where they are given every opportunity to succeed through hands-on experience, mentoring and education and support programs.”

Dr Freeman said 80 per cent of the 2019 cohort had elected to continue their medical careers at Ipswich Hospital in 2020.

“One of our greatest qualities at West Moreton Health is that we care and support each other through the challenges as well as the triumphs and I think the high retention of our medical interns is indicative of the exceptional opportunity that Ipswich Hospital presents to launch an exciting career and be part of a passionate team.”

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