FOSTER doctor Hutchison Thurairaja has been accepted into a prestigious training scheme funded by the federal government.
‘Dr Hutch’ as he is affectionately known by his colleagues and patients, is among 23 doctors from across Australia who have recently scored a place on the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS). The scheme targets doctors who want to further their medical careers in rural or remote general practice.
RVTS offers intensive workshops and online training, which require a large commitment from doctors outside of day-to-day consulting.
Dr Hutch said he has already attended a workshop in Sydney courtesy of RVTS – and the scheme even allowed him to take his family.
The CEO of RVTS, Dr Patrick Giddings, said Dr Hutch’s place in RVTS enables him to have ready access to the latest advances in rural general practice without having to move to another centre.
“We create a win-win situation, where doctors can train where they live and isolated communities get to keep the doctors they so desperately need.”
Dr Hutch has worked at Foster for almost three years. Originally from Sri Lanka, where he undertook his medical training, he has lived in Australia for six years and is now a permanent resident and fully registered as a doctor.
He is enjoying undertaking his specialisation in general practice at the Foster Medical Centre, where he is mentored by Dr Mike Fitzgerald. He is delighted to now have the extra assistance of the RVTS, having applied for a place at the suggestion of a friend in WA.
Dr Giddings says that having regular interaction with experts in the field reduces remote doctors’ feelings of professional isolation which also makes them less likely to move to urban areas.
“Foster residents can be proud that Dr Thurairaja was chosen from a pool of 87 applicants,” he said.
RVTS offers up to four years of support. It assists doctors practising in some of Australia’s most remote locations, from rural farming communities to remote outstations, and has benefited more than 150 rural or remote communities since its inception 12 years ago.