The HUB: helping medical students achieve their career goals

Dr Katie Dahl at Rainbow Beach, Queensland

Dr Katie Dahl  has come to the end of her studies in the Doctor of Medicine and Surgery program at the Australian National University (ANU) and the future is looking bright.

Having landed her dream internship as a junior doctor at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) and Health Service in Queensland for the next two years, she is getting ready to pack her bags to return north.

“I had two main criteria for my internship – to be closer to my family in South East Queensland and to be close to the beach.”

“SCUH was the ideal choice. Being a Tertiary centre it offers me a great education as a junior doctor as well as providing the opportunity for further training in later years,” Dr Dahl explained.

Dr Dahl was supported through her internship application process by the ANU SE NSW Regional Training HUB (aka ‘the HUB’).

Mrs Jennie Gordon, Manager for the HUB, explained, “Our service is offered to all ANU medical students to advise and support them in continuing prevocational and vocational training in rural Australia. We assist students as well as junior doctors in South East NSW with rural career support and rural internship, resident, and registrar training positions.”

Dr Dahl noted, “When I first met with Jennie, I was feeling quite overwhelmed by the internship application process. The HUB’s assistance and encouragement made the application, interview and acceptance process a lot less stressful and resulted in the best possible outcome for me.”

“From discussing my personal and professional priorities to walking me through the application process, creating my Curriculum Vitae (CV) and cover letter writing, steering me clear of common mistakes students make and providing me opportunities to practice my interview skills – the HUB was an incredible support that helped me clarify my priorities and achieve my goals.”

“As a result I received three interviews and subsequently two internship offers for my top preferences in Queensland and New South Wales,” Dr Dahl advised.

Reflecting on the past four years of study, Dr Dahl said, “Undertaking my third year rotations in Bega through the Rural Clinical School  prepared me well for my upcoming internship.”

“Working rurally provided opportunities that I don’t think would have been available in an urban setting. It also gave me the confidence to be more involved in the clinical environment when I returned to Canberra in fourth year, allowing me to seek out opportunities I may not have had the confidence to pursue if I wasn’t so supported and encouraged on rural placements.”

When asked what advice she has for students in their clinical years thinking about where they want to go next, Dr Dahl said, “If you want to work in the regions or rurally, contact the HUB. Jennie and her team are very kind and knowledgeable, and they honestly want to help you achieve your very best outcome.”

“A very important piece of information I learnt from Jennie, was that our Clinical Placements count as previous work experience, and to detail what you’ve completed in each rotation and incorporate our portfolio items into our CV. I went from a very light CV to a CV packed with great experiences and exposure to the clinical environment.”

“For those just beginning their clinical years, my biggest advice would be to not be afraid of getting involved. Utilise your placements to learn as much as you can. And remember, you are learning, we aren’t expected to know everything yet, but if you are keen and show enthusiasm to learn and grow, people will teach you.”