News psychs welcomed under new training program designed to address health shortages in country WA

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The newest trainee psychiatrists under the Rural Psychiatry Training WA program.
Camera IconThe newest trainee psychiatrists under the Rural Psychiatry Training WA program. Credit: Supplied

The first cohort of trainee psychiatrists have settled into rural Western Australia as part of the Rural Psychiatry Training WA program.

The program has so far seen 23 doctors start their career in rural WA allowing them to live, train and practise in the country from internship all the way to fellowship, in the first dedicated rural training in Australia or New Zealand.

The South West received eight trainee psychiatrists in February, with the remaining trainees placed across the rest of WA.

The program incentivises trainees to stay in their location for up to five years to obtain their fellowship after completing their training placement.

The opportunities for these doctors extend across child and adolescent services, consultation liaison, clinical settings, adult and older-age psychiatry, addiction and community mental health services.

Support in the form of mentorship from senior rural psychiatrists will be provided throughout their placement in an attempt to permanently fill positions and address the shortage of health experts and workers in rural WA.

Mental health executive director Paula Chatfield said the program was only one such co-ordination to improve the delivery of health care in country WA.

“The program builds on our commitment to growing our own workforce by providing opportunities and support for the next generation of mental health professionals. By doing so, we’re supporting the continued health of country communities,” she said.

The trainee psychiatrists join nurses, midwives, medical and pharmacist interns, in expanding and improving the delivery of healthcare across regional WA, with support provided to help relocate and settle them and their families.

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