Sarah Wilmot
People fall over, have AMIs, strokes and get fevers in Gippsland just as they do in metropolitan Melbourne.  It's just that being in a rural centre all these patients are treated on general wards, not speciality wards.  As a result, as an intern I have seen and been involved in the management of many different presentations.  This is a challenge.  It is also rewarding.  I have been involved in the management of patients from the acute presentation, transferring to a Tertiary centre then rehabilitation on return.  My communication skills have improved particularly in the area of verbal presentation of patients over the phone.  It has been important to take ownership of patients and be their advocate.  I never thought I would be so grateful for ISBAR. 
It has been important to be able to quickly and successfully join teams that are used to interns rotating through their departments.  Nurses, ward clerks and consultants have established relationships and expectations.  I have found these teams to be welcoming.  More importantly they have been enormously supportive and patient.  As a GRIT Intern reputations are established early and travel quickly.  There is no anonymity.  You are likely to work at the hospital to which you refer or from which you receive patients.  I have enjoyed this continuity of relationships.
I have been impressed by the way clinicians in rural centres uses resources to ensure that patients receive evidence based appropriate care.  High emphasis is placed on staying current by utilising resource via the internet as well as experts from specialist centres.  The diversity of skills displayed by rural clinicians has been an inspiration.  I am keen to be a rural clinician as a result of my exposure to the medical workforce in Gippsland. 
I am grateful for the learning opportunities that this intern experience has provided.  I would happily recommend this internship.   

                                                                                     Tshenolo Masete

As an international medical student , I spent most of my clinical years training in Gippsland, which became my home away from home. It was only natural that I would be very keen to stay on an extra year as an intern. GRIT is actually one of the few programs in Victoria to offer anaesthetics as a rotation to its intern. Anaesthetics is a very ‘hot commodity’ in the world of internship as it educates and boost’s one’s confidence on the basic lifesaving skills, in a very different way that other rotations do. All of us who have done the rotation feel very privileged that we were offered such an opportunity, which at most hospital networks is reserved for more senior doctors. 
At all times during my practise, I found that I was well supported by consultants who were always standing “behind my shoulder” or a phone call away (even in the middle of the night) supervising and guiding myself and the other junior doctors to provide the best care for patients. Majority of them did so patiently and kindly, establishing a rapport with their juniors, which promoted young doctors to feel free to ask any questions we may have if we were not sure of the course to take. 
Overall, the year was an enjoyable, enriching and educational one. I was able to juggle work and have a social life, which is always desirable. The year offered a broad spectrum of rotations that offered a variety of clinical skills, knowledge and experience.
I have chosen to stay on an extra year to continue my learning process in the hopes of one day becoming an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist.

     Dwayne Chang

Contrary to popular belief, working at a major regional health service is not a bad thing at all; in fact, I think it is one of the better places to start your
as an intern (as do most of my colleagues in metropolitan hospitals). The needs of an intern are fully met; there is more than adequate supervision in terms of highly-qualified consultants who are more than happy to impart their knowledge and skills to you and actually have the time to do so. The smaller unit teams in regional hospitals provide a very strong advantage to interns; they are able to participate more actively in patients’ care, have closer working relationships with your registrars as well as having more opportunities to impress your consultants who will likely be your all important clinical referees come mid-year when residency positions open.

I have gained an enormous amount of clinical experience working in the Gippsland Rural Intern Training (GRIT) Program. My General Surgery unit at West Gippsland Hospital does not only cater for General Surgery patients, but also Orthopaedic, Urology and Plastic Surgery patients! Although we have a small surgical team, this actually benefited me very much; due to the need for more manpower, I was the first assistant to more than forty orthopaedic and general surgical operations! This provided a much more extensive surgical assisting experience than you are likely to obtain working at metropolitan hospitals. Furthermore, my Anaesthetic rotation at Latrobe Regional Hospital gave me many opportunities under close supervision by the Senior Consultants to complete useful anaesthetic procedures such as spinal anaesthesia and to participate in intubations. These skills are extremely useful as a resident. 
Life in regional health services has its perks. There is usually subsidised accommodation and utilities; this often includes internet access as well. Furthermore, these accommodations are often within walking distance, so there is no need to waste time travelling around. Besides that, working in regional areas gives you the chance to explore the great Victorian countryside, meet new people, enjoy the local offerings or even join the local clubs! Melbourne is just a short 1-2 hour drive away, and trains and buses are readily available for those who would like to commute back via public transport.   There is a very good work-life balance in the country. 



  Pete Verbeek
"Training with the Gippsland consortium has been a fantastic opportunity, not only professionally but also personally. The ability to work in many different hospitals gives you a range of experience working in challenging and varied environments; couple this with a friendly work environment and you have a very unique internship. The range of people I have met, the future career opportunities and the job satisfaction that I have is truly remarkable. 
I cannot recommend it highly enough to any aspiring health professional."