From Melbourne to Ballarat, the world is now calling to top off an ideal medical training
Just starting out in his career, Dr Michael Duff has already made an impact, receiving the Ballarat Health Services’ Intern Professionalism Award for 2021.
Dr Michael Duff
After attending boarding school in Melbourne and then completing a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne, Michael Duff was aware that a requirement of his medical training would involve spending time in rural hospitals.
What he wasn’t aware of was that, having spent one year in Wangaratta and two in Ballarat as part of the Rural Clinical School (RCS), his intention of soon getting back to the city lights of Melbourne would not only be thwarted but would end up being, as he put it, “the best thing that ever happened”.
He graduated from the RCS at the end of 2020.
Having missed out on ‘the lottery’ of medical students being selected to complete their training back in Melbourne, Dr Duff has embraced the opportunities offered to him at Ballarat ever since.
“This inclusive approach has meant I was able to participate in a number of procedures I might not have had the opportunity of participating in, such as being the first assistant in many caesareans” says Dr Duff.
“I now feel part of team where my opinion is valued and collegiality is the norm.”
Reflecting on the training he’s received in regional Victoria, Dr Duff believes that rural hospitals appreciate the value of supporting students to immerse themselves in the rhythm of the hospital and for him personally,has made him a better person.
“I recommend all medical professionals starting out on their pathway to consider passage through the Rural Clinical School,” he says.
Dr Duff is currently doing rotations in Ballarat, allowing him to experience first-hand a range of specialties including general surgery, diagnostics, trauma, emergency medicine and paediatrics.
And while he hasn’t made a final decision on what he wants to do next, is considering following his father’s footsteps (as the local doctor in Bright) and taking up general practice.
As for the future, Dr Duff is keen to have an international experience before making other big decisions. Working in London and travel is on the agenda for 2023.
In acknowledging his award, Dr Duff paid tribute to Ms Janice Garvey, a Clinical Education Facilitator based at the Rural Clinical School at Wangaratta.
“I was moved and motivated by her inspiring and inquiring mind, Dr Duff says, “and the positive influence she has had personally and professionally on so many of my colleagues.”