Penny Campbell-Wilson accommodates medical students through the John Flynn Placement Program.
Penny Campbell-Wilson accommodates medical students through the John Flynn Placement Program. Georja Ryan

Open home policy

WHILE many fret about the shortage of doctors in Warwick, Penny and Ian Campbell-Wilson are being proactive in helping alleviate the problem.

For years, the couple have been a part of the John Flynn Placement Program, hosting medical students as they come to Warwick to be mentored by local doctors.

Mrs Campbell-Wilson said it was programs like John Flynn that were working towards brighter future for doctor numbers.

"It's not going to benefit what's happening right now but in a few years they may want to come back and practice in Warwick," Mrs Campbell-Wilson said.

She said by accommodating the students, their eyes were opened to a life in the country.

"One girl from Melbourne, who was only 20 when she was with us was so homesick but now she is working in a small country town and she loves it - that was not her intention at all."

John Flynn calls for 300 applicants a year and Mrs Campbell-Wilson said it was a rewarding experience for host families.

"It's our pleasure to do something and, hopefully, it will help alleviate the doctor shortage in the long run," she said.

By providing a comfortable and homely experience for the students on their two to four week visits, it created a more positive experience for students and they would be more likely to return in the future.

"If we say no, they'd probably stay in McCarthy house and wouldn't get to really see the town and get involved with the community and functions," Mrs Campbell-Wilson said.

"Here, they're treated like members of the family. If we're invited out to dinner, they come too.

"It's like having one of your kids come back home."


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