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Outback ideal for trainee doctors

Thursday, 21st January, 2010

* Dr Natalie Belousova with Denise McCallum and her two daughters Grace (7) and Lily-Rose (three days old). * Dr Natalie Belousova with Denise McCallum and her two daughters Grace (7) and Lily-Rose (three days old).

By Emily Roberts

The first group of medical students to train in Broken Hill this year have arrived. Dr Dennis Smith, Medical Services Director for the Broken Hill Health Service, welcomed the trainees yesterday.

"Broken Hill Health Service provides a good training environment for new doctors," Dr Smith said. "They gain a broad experience and we have very good teachers here. "Our patients are usually very appreciative and very genuine in discussing their problems with the doctors."

Dr Natalie Belousova, a second year doctor who attended Broken Hill as a student, is now back for 10 weeks. The hospital where Dr Belousova works sends students to Broken Hill and other country hospitals as part of their educational program.

Dr Belousova said she choose to come back to work here because she "really enjoyed" her time here. She also worked in Wilcannia and Menindee. She said it was more hands-on and provided a great learning experience.

Dr Smith hoped it could be seen that the city offers a unique opportunity to develop skills and knowledge. "Students have to rely on their own instinct because there are not as many doctors available as in the larger cities. "It gives the students a chance to hone their skills.

"It also means doctors can be one on one with their students and give them quality time to ask questions, with more time for explanation." Dr Smith said it was "much, much better" in Broken Hill as it provides a great environment.

Branko Licul, the Media Officer for the local hospital, said he hoped Dr Belousova "recommends to other doctors and students what a great experience Broken Hill has to offer".

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