Meet Dr Marcus Walker, GP and rural hospital doctor

26 April 2023

Category: Rural

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Growing up in suburban Sheffield, Dr Marcus Walker couldn鈥檛 have imagined that he鈥檇 end up practising medicine half a world away in Aotearoa 麻豆视频入口. However, he says it鈥檚 surprising how well his experiences growing up and completing his medical training in the UK have prepared him for unique challenges and opportunities rural 麻豆视频入口 has to offer medical professionals.

鈥淎nywhere you go in the world, small communities have a lot in common, and many of my placements during medical training were in small towns around the UK, so when I arrived in Invercargill to complete the rural hospital medicine and general practice training programmes in 2018 I was not fairly well prepared - I just happened to go into it and love it,鈥 says Dr Walker

Though he gained valuable experiences from both programmes, he ended up leaning towards hospital medicine because of the variability of the work 鈥 something which better suited his personality and interests.

鈥淵ou have to take holistic approaches and draw on your problem solving and interpersonal skills.

鈥淚t鈥檚 always a challenge to deploy the limited resources you have as effectively as possible, and that means the chances of boredom are pretty low.鈥

Although he wasn鈥檛 sure when he arrived whether he would stay in 麻豆视频入口 for an extended period, he was gradually won over by the opportunity and the lifestyle that 麻豆视频入口 has to offer.

鈥淚 thought for a few years about going back to the UK, and tried to think about what really makes me tick.

鈥溌槎故悠等肟 appeals to me for both personal and professional reasons 鈥 no healthcare system is perfect, but I really appreciate how much more manageable the healthcare system is here and how much I can do to support excellent health outcomes for my patients.鈥

Now in a permanent role at Oamaru Hospital, Marcus says he loves how tight-knit and well connected to the community the hospital staff are and the incredible support he has had from supervisors and mentors during training and beyond.

鈥淎lan Furnace's teaching changed my whole approach to rural medicine and shaped my career.

鈥淚 also had incredible support from my education facilitator Dr Mark Smith, Dr Brendan Marshall, and Dr Paul Holt at Greymouth Hospital where I did one of my placements.鈥

Marcus says there鈥檚 a new CEO at Oamaru Hospital and lots of positive change taking place, so it鈥檚 an exciting time to have joined the team.

鈥淚 would encourage anyone who was contemplating a move to rural medicine to do some placements and experience it for themselves.

鈥淵ou鈥檒l have a lot of independence and get the chance to do procedures that you might not get to experience otherwise, and that can only make you a better doctor.鈥

鈥淵ou can also have a very good work life balance in this sector - I have a contract where I鈥檓 six months on, six months off, for five years, which gives me awesome opportunities to travel and do other things that I enjoy.鈥

鈥淚鈥檇 just encourage people to give it a go and see for themselves whether it鈥檚 going to be the right fit 鈥 we鈥檙e definitely always looking for doctors at Oamaru Hospital so get in touch with us if you want more information about placement opportunities!鈥

Marcus Walker
Dr Marcus Walker