A young Bendigo doctor who is passionate about healthcare in rural and regional areas has been named Victoria’s Junior Doctor of the Year.
Dr Skye Kinder was named recipient of the accolade earlier this week after she was nominated by Bendigo Health, where she works as an intern.
“I’m still pretty speechless, but also really excited, and humbled to be chosen from so many great junior doctors,” the 26-year-old said.
Dr Kinder said she was inspired to become a doctor after seeing her father travel to Melbourne regularly to attend specialist appointments while she was growing up in Bendigo.
She said doctors had a special relationship with patients, and it was a vocation that gave her the opportunity to learn a lot about people.
“It’s really rewarding to see people get better, and be part of that process,” Dr Kinder said.
When it comes to her future, Dr Kinder thinks she might like to specialise in psychiatry, because of the connection a doctor can make with their patients.
Dr Kinder believes her interest in rural and regional healthcare stems from having grown up in Bendigo.
“I think what I’m most passionate about it that this is my community – everything I’ve been able to do is because of people in this community,” she said.
She said she was especially interested in travel burden and the financial impact on people living in regional and rural areas.
She is involved in research on these issues, in an effort to find ways in which they can be addressed.
As a student, Dr Kinder ran the Australian Medical Students’ Association’s rural portfolio and chaired its rural health committee.
Dr Kinder said regional areas were good places to build a career as a doctor, with junior doctors able to enjoy closer relationships with senior doctors and mentors.
Bendigo Health’s chief medical officer, Dr Humsha Naidoo, added that there were also more training opportunities and more exposure to clinical work in rural and regional settings.
Dr Naidoo said Dr Kinder was an “excellent” intern at Bendigo Health and they were proud of her work.
Dr Kinder began working at Bendigo Health after graduating from the University of Melbourne last year.
As Victoria’s Junior Doctor of the Year, Dr Kinder is now in the running for the national award.