HANDS ON: New medical interns at Hervey Bay Hospital, Drs Simon Ma, Fathima Cassim, Kuan Ming Tan, Cassandra Steel, Winnie Lee, Matthew Cozier, Kendra Coufal and Tim Oksanen.
HANDS ON: New medical interns at Hervey Bay Hospital, Drs Simon Ma, Fathima Cassim, Kuan Ming Tan, Cassandra Steel, Winnie Lee, Matthew Cozier, Kendra Coufal and Tim Oksanen. Alistair Brightman

First doctors to work at our hospital for entire intern

THEY spent about 12 years combined at university to get where they are today and now, Kendra Coufal and Matthew Cozier can finally call themselves doctors.

They and six other doctors are the first group to work solely at Hervey Bay Hospital for the duration of their internship.

Medical education officer Bob Clarke said it was a four-year process to have the interns allocated at Hervey Bay Hospital and gain accreditation as a Primary Allocation Centre.

This meant they were no longer forced to rely on rotations from Bundaberg Hospital interns.

"It's all about growing our medical workforce who are trained in Australia," Mr Clarke said.

"We've worked with the Queensland Prevocational Medical Accreditation Authority to achieve accreditation and now have our first intake of students wholly allocated to Hervey Bay Hospital."

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Not expecting to be placed at Hervey Bay, Kendra, who moved from Western Australia, discovered a love for rural areas.

"I was working in Brisbane before I moved to Western Australia to study at Notre Dame University and they really pushed us to have the opportunity to explore rural areas," she said.

"After going to a rural clinical school in Albany, I decided being a doctor in a rural area is what I wanted."

Her fellow intern Matthew, who came from the Gold Coast, had already completed eight years at university, gaining his PhD before deciding he wanted to become a researcher.

"I did a PhD in science and drug design which is a field where you're looking at new drugs to help cure cancer and heart disease," he said.

"Towards the end of my PhD I was looking for areas to grow as a researcher and I came to find clinical medicine was a good place to start."

Another eight interns were placed at Bundaberg Hospital.



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