DOCTOR Dan Wilson did the Melbourne thing, studying and starting work in a large city. But his time with Ballarat Health Services as a junior doctor confirmed Dr Wilson's passion for rural and regional medicine.
Set to join East Grampians Health Service next year, Dr Wilson will become the Ararat hospital's first full-time doctor as the Post-graduate Medical Council of Victoria's junior doctor of the year. He will team up with supervisor Michael Connellan, who was this year named Rural Doctors Association of Australia doctor of the year.
"I just like doing a bit of everything," Dr Wilson said.
"Ballarat's certainly been a great platform to start a career. There's lots of opportunity involved. Having three medical schools here - University of Melbourne, Deakin University and Notre Dame from Sydney - creates a real cooking pot of medical culture...the schools work well in sharing resources and knowledge."
Dr Wilson hails from Ararat-sized town Kempsey, near Port Macquarie on the New South Wales mid-north coast. He always had keenness to return to regional health. Finding a mentor in Ballarat general practitioner Anna Yates, Dr Wilson made the move from Melbourne initially as an intern last year.
What Dr Wilson found was a supportive medical community allowing him to pursue extend his skills is rural generalism with a particular interest in women's health, sexual health, medical education and leadership - none of which he might have been able to pursue as much in a metropolitan hospital.
While working and completing his post-graduate studies with University of Melbourne, Dr Wilson helped launch a near-peer medical program. More than 400 students attended lessons led by volunteer junior doctors and interns.
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The near-program has been starting to generate interest from other hospitals across the state. The PMCV honours also put Dr Wilson's work on the national stage as a finalist for the Australian junior doctor of the year.
"Junior doctors we recruited to be part of the program, a selling point was to up-skill their teaching skills based on the method you learn more by teaching," Dr Wilson said.
"I learned a lot from medical students and junior doctors in the program and it's been great to see junior doctors gain confidence in teaching others."
Passionate about learning, Dr Wilson will commence his masters in clinical education through Flinders University next year.
Teaching is where believes his career will evolve towards but Dr Wilson said there was always plenty to learn along the way.
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