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Swan Hill Primary Health Medical Centre – TT 1-4

This practice will accept applications from Training Term (TT) 1-4 registrars.

Owned and operated by Swan Hill District Health and located within the hospital precinct, Swan Hill Primary Health Medical Centre is a thriving, innovative clinic and a stimulating training ground for GP trainees.

Swan Hill, with a population of around 10,000, services a community of around 40,000. This charming regional town offers a welcoming community, with great amenities and a fantastic, relaxing lifestyle for its residents, with an abundance of outdoor activities and water sports available. A testament to the great schools available in the region is that six year 12 students recently qualified for an undergraduate medical program.

A warm welcome for GP trainees by practice staff includes practicalities such as a comprehensive orientation for both the medical centre and the hospital and providing a comfortable work environment.  The practice manager and nursing staff help to guide and mentor GP trainees as they commence consulting with their supervisor, gradually moving towards independence as they feel ready.

Supporting GP trainees is very important to the practice, with a close eye kept on the work-life balance and mental health wellbeing. Out of work activities are strongly encouraged, with the practice staff only too willing to assist in providing a range of options.

This innovative practice prides itself on its teaching and learning environment, with a four year program from Monash University onsite. One-on-one teaching and general discussion around cases from the practice and the hospital are standard and provide opportunities for GP trainees to learn and ask questions. Other opportunities for skill development and ongoing learning, include participation in the hospital program which incorporates tutorials, case conferences, visiting speakers and various workshops. Trainees will also benefit from weekly emergency scenario lectures.

The well-equipped 79-bed hospital has a four-bed emergency department, a sub-acute service with 14 beds and a therapy area, acute care ward, midwifery unit, operating theatre, day procedure unit, renal dialysis, chemotherapy, palliative care and radiology services. The emergency department is covered by senior HMO staff and supported by anaesthetists and surgical backup. The health service has coordinated fly-in-fly-out obstetric cover and the major referral centres are Bendigo and Melbourne.

Within the health service, a range of allied health and community health services are offered, including women’s health, diabetes, Aboriginal health, headspace, cancer resource centre and rehabilitation facilities. Additional programs include alcohol and other drug services, refugee health, sexual and reproductive health, breast care nurse, dietetic services, district nursing and hospital in the home. Two residential aged care facilities provide 75 beds.

GP trainees will benefit from the range of visiting specialists, including fortnightly paediatrics. Specialist and visiting consultant cover include orthopaedic surgeon, vascular surgeon with surgical registrars on rotation from Bendigo. In addition, cardiologist, rheumatologist and anaesthetists are available.

There’s also the opportunity to be involved in GP clinics in outlying towns, offering further opportunities for a broad scope of general practice. Experiences include advanced care planning, nursing home care, palliative care and end of life planning, telehealth consulting, fracture clinic, stress echos, treatment of skin cancer and minor surgical procedures. GP trainees also have the opportunity to continue on at the practice after fellowship.

There’s a different pace to life by the water in Victoria’s north west.

Indulge in a tour and tasting at local wineries, enjoy water sports or boating, experience our pioneer’s history, or take up golf on the famous Murray Downs Golf Course – so much to do and a life to live in Swan Hill.

Ripe for reflection along the Murray.

Supervisor special interests include skin cancer, 3D mole mapping, ophthalmology, antenatal and gynaecology.

The medical centre prides itself on being an open, progressive learning environment, with GP trainees under supervision from experienced ACRRM and RACGP supervisors, including Dr Ernan Hession who trained in the UK and has a wealth of unique experience.

Dr Hession has been clinical supervisor for medical students, HMOs and GP trainees at the Swan Hill hospital for the over 25 years. He is Hub Director with the Monash Medical School and supervises international medical graduate training.

“My focus on and commitment to education, is driven by the understanding of the need to ensure a skilled proceduralist GP workforce for rural areas.” he said.

Providing a broad range of general practice services in the clinic, Dr Hession also works in emergency, palliative care and geriatric medicine. He has a focus on medical education, health service delivery and workforce planning in his role as Chief Medical Officer with Swan Hill District Health.

“We are at a time of change in Swan Hill. Like many country towns we are trying to define a new role – the new direction for the hospital and general practice in the town… to address how we can service the small towns around us, like Moulamein, Sea Lake and Balranald.” he said.

“In my medical career, I’ve been able to deliver babies, manage heart attacks, manage major emergencies… I’ve been part of a much bigger organisation.. I’ve been able to get involved. You know you are needed in country practice. A country GP is a jack of all trades.”

See more about the practice here