PATIENTS of the Terang Medical Clinic will soon meet fresh faces after three doctors are continuing their training to become general practitioners locally.
Doctors Linda Anderson, Harpreet Dhillon and Brent Venning began at the clinic this week as part of a registrar training program.
While all three are qualified doctors, they will undergo further training and supervision to earn the title of general practitioners.
Dr Timothy Fitzpatrick said he was excited to have new doctors in Terang.
“There is always a shortage in regional communities so we’re really excited to have them and to have new doctors in town,” he said.
“We’re very lucky. You could advertise for years and not have anyone apply, so it was a bolt from the blue to have these three available.”
Dr Linda Anderson came to medicine later in life after working in secondary schools as a science and mathematics teacher before serving more than 25 years as an Australian Army officer in the transport, education and nursing corps.
She has lived in south west Victoria for almost six years, graduating from Deakin University’s medical school and working in medicine in both Warrnambool and Portland.
Dr Anderson said she was excited for a new challenge.
“It’s a unique experience,” she said.
“It is an independent experience working in a more challenging but rewarding environment.”
For Dr Harpreet Dhillon and Dr Brent Venning, the pair has not only partnered together in work, but in life.
The couple arrived in the region from Newcastle in New South Wales after graduating from the University of Wollongong in 2016.
Dr Dhillon spent time working in both Queensland and New South Wales after spending time as a registered nurse in emergency departments and remotely in First Nations in Canada.
She said working in Terang provided an opportunity which was more diverse than in metropolitan communities.
“Working for both a clinic and hospital provides the opportunity to develop a parallel skill set,” Dr Dhillon said.
“You’re not rurally isolated, and you get an opportunity to do more than the average metropolitan experience would allow.”
Dr Venning graduated with prizes in medicine, paediatrics and surgery prior to completing his internship in Queensland before gaining additional experience as a resident across New South Wales and Victoria.
After travelling through the south west, he said the pair decided to extend their stay.
“The region was accessible to everything, between the beach and the city,” Dr Venning said.
“It was a lifestyle fit, while providing a good opportunity working at both a clinic and at a hospital.”