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Registrar Experiences

Last updated 18/04/2024

Dr Maddi Harper


Hi I’m Maddi – a PGY4 ED Registrar at Bendigo Health. I was born, raised, and completed almost all of medical school in Melbourne. I moved to Bendigo from Melbourne for Internship after completing a single ED rotation here as a Monash 5th year student and have never looked back. I chose Bendigo because I knew I was interested in critical care and Bendigo offered more opportunities to do critical care rotations early in my career (and not just the paperwork part of the jobs!).

Being rural is an excellent place to learn and build confidence – as a junior ED Registrar you are rostered onto resus shifts on average once per week, where you get to manage critically unwell patients in a supportive environment and do procedures that many don’t get the opportunity to do in metropolitan centres. It also gives you a huge advantage when it comes to exam time as you are often reading your own ECGs, CT scans and other imaging from very early on (particularly overnight). There is also opportunity to do rotations in ICU and Anaesthetics which can be difficult to get in Melbourne. We also have highly skilled educators who go out of their way to teach and ensure that people pass exams, with an exemplary pass rate the last few years in both the Primary and Fellowship FACEM exams.

Outside of work I play for the Strathdale Soccer Club, enjoy bush walking and visiting the amazing restaurants and wineries we have in the area. Daylesford and Hepburn Springs is only a scenic 40 minute drive away and is perfect for weekend getaways. Bendigo is also a very dog friendly place to live with many off-leash parks which your furry friend with love.

Bendigo is an absolutely fabulous place to work – I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a challenge, to work in a friendly and supportive department and wants to live somewhere that work is only a 5 minute drive away (with no traffic!).

Dr Gabriela Barros Modenesi- ACRRM Registrar

I'm Gabi, an ACRRM registrar completing advanced skills in Emergency and working towards the EM Diploma. I've been linked to Bendigo ED since 2020 when I started Advanced Skills training in Emergency. Currently, I'm mainly working in General Practice but continue to work part-time in Bendigo ED.

I always wanted to complete General Practice training but enjoyed working in ED and found having ED skills very important for a General Practitioner, especially in the rural setting.

As an ACRRM Registrar, I find Bendigo ED a great place to learn emergency skills. Here, you gain contemporaneous knowledge from FACEMs, manage sick patients in resus in a supportive environment and have  opportunities to learn emergency procedures. On the other hand, since Bendigo is not a tertiary hospital, you deal with somewhat similar issues regarding transfer and retrieval that a small hospital has.

The ED senior staff has also guided and helped with many other areas, such as:

  • Completing the ACRRM ED logbook and working towards the EM diploma
  • Flexibility in negotiating rosters when moving to general practice
  • Facilitating anaesthetic experience
  • Mentoring from FACEM/FACRRM or FACEMs with lots of rural experience
  • Putting me in contact with rural general practice training representatives just after my initial interview (as an IMG without PR initially, I had some issues navigating the training system).

We also have RACGP trainees and Fellow GPs that work in ED either casually or on a regular basis.

I would highly recommend Bendigo ED for any GP registrars or fellows, being RACGP or ACRRM, who want to learn more emergency skills. Even if you are not planning to continue working in Emergency, the ED working experience is of great value in order to manage Urgent Care patients and GP urgent presentations with more confidence. Bendigo is the perfect place to learn it.

Dr Vanessa Roberts- ACEM Trainee

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My name is Vanessa and I’ve been an Emergency Registrar at Bendigo Health since 2020. After finishing medical school I spent a few years working in Melbourne, but when I started looking into Emergency training there were lots of FACEMs who spoke very highly of Bendigo – I kept hearing about how good the Bendigo trainees were. Once I came up for the interview and spoke to some of the other registrars here, the decision to move up was easy.

The stand out feature of this Emergency Department is that there is an emphasis on Emergency doctors working up and looking after patients thoroughly, and not to refer onto a specialty service without thinking deeply about pathology & disposition. We are proud to perform all our own procedures – everything from femoral  nerve blocks to floating pacing wires.

This is possible through the exemplary teaching here at Bendigo ED – the DEMTs put an enormous amount of effort into preparing and delivering relevant and engaging teaching sessions once a week, and most bosses here provide on-the-go teaching on the floor. We use case-based teaching to learn about common diagnostic dilemmas, and unpack tough cases on a regular basis.

Outside of work, I spend time with my little family! Bendigo is a fantastic place to raise a family, and my husband and I are spoiled for choice when it comes to activities to do with our young daughter. You're on the doorstep of beautiful national parks, and a short drive from small country towns that make wonderful day-trip destinations. I also run for the Bendigo University Athletics Club, and have played a few seasons of mixed netball.

All in all, you cannot find the combination of fast-paced, acute emergency medicine and country living anywhere else! You mature as an Emergency Doctor so much faster here just because you have to step up and deal with things you wouldn't at the same stage in a metropolitain hospital. You don't have to sit in traffic after a long shift - you can walk! And you make some wonderful, lifelong friendships with the staff that also call Bendigo home.

I couldn't recommend Bendigo more highly for Emergency Medicine trainees.

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