Rural doctors’ support group a success

NSW Rural Doctors Network president Dr Ian Cameron said what started as a casual mentoring arrangement with one rural doctor’s wife grew into a network training 15 spouses to mentor others in similar situations. It has since snowballed with 70 people participating in the past year.

“We’ve changed that now to approaching everyone, every spouse we know who’s moved to rural NSW, and asking if they want to be on the program,” Dr Cameron said of the program, known as Bush Friends.

“The basis of it is that we put a lot of attention into the clinical and professional transition of the doctor and this is putting some effort into the social transition of the doctor and their families, especially the family.”

Contrary to the cliché of it being for doctors’ wives, Dr Cameron said that with half of medical graduates now women, it was becoming increasingly important to establish social integration pathways