Naracoorte shapes two newcomers

MEDICAL: Students Andy Ung and Elle Robertson. Photo: Laura Sneath
MEDICAL: Students Andy Ung and Elle Robertson. Photo: Laura Sneath

All the way from Flinders University in Adelaide, med students Elle Robertson and Andy Ung will complete a one year placement right here in Naracoorte.

Based at the Kincraig Medical Clinic, the third year med students will me mentored by the region's top medical practitioners.

Elle and Andy spoke to the Herald and they both said they're keen to be welcomed into the community.

"I Always had an interest in health care ... and going rural with it and medicine stood out because you can actually form long standing professional relationships with patients. its something I value," Elle said.

Elle values that she can see the "positive impact" her work has on patients. Andy said studying medicine was something he felt would lead to more career opportunities in the future.

"I started off doing a research science degree and it kind of went into applying for medicine because I felt like it had more opportunistic to talk to people instead of test tubes and viles everyday. To me, it's more fulfilling," Andy said.

While Elle applied for the placement, Andy came in through the rural sub-quota through Flinders University and was allocated to the Green Triangle region. The pair arrived in Naracoorte three weeks ago after completing one week's work in Mount Gambier. A normal word day for will see the pair being mentored and getting a feel for each specialty.

"We spend a lot of time with the doctors here in the clinic like the GPs, a lot of the time the nurses as well. When specialists come to Naracoorte for theater days, we go over with them as well. You see and do everything," Elle said.

"When you're learning, everything's new and exciting. I think (my specialty) will come with time, and this year will definitely help with narrowing down what we don't like and what we do like."

They both agree that one of the challenges throughout the program will definitely be trying to get enough sleep and being away from family and friends.

"It's hard, especially when things get really busy. I feel like you want those people around you," Elle said.

Andy said these next two years will be challenging but it's exciting to start transitioning between textbook and theory and put it into practice. The duo have their first exam in a few weeks, and will complete four exams over the 12 month placement. Don't forget to say hello to Elle and Andy when you see them around town.