From the NHS to Nepean Hospital: resident medical officer enjoys a change of scene


The beginning of the year is a time of great change for many new doctors at Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District. Amongst the new cohort is Dr Sam Sussmes who’s arguably adjusting to the biggest change – undergoing both a professional and a sea change.

Dr Sam Sussmes

Resident Medical Officer, Dr Sam Sussmes

In January, Sam relocated from England for the chance to work and learn at Nepean Hospital.

An Oxford graduate, Sam worked for two years in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) before considering a move overseas.

With a desire to head to Sydney, Sam came across Nepean Hospital in his search for potential workplaces and connected with our Junior Medical Officer Manager, Sharon Kuipers and Co/Director of Prevocational Education and Training, Dr Karen Fisher who let him know what was on offer for medical interns at Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.

“I learned about Nepean Hospital as a tertiary centre and that though the location is a bit further out, it’s still within Sydney. I also found that there’s lots of experiences to be had, different specialties and exposure to lots of different types of medicine, especially things we don’t get in the UK,” says Sam.

“My first rotation is in Nepean Hospital’s emergency department and I’ve got to do some reading up on how to deal with snake bites. We don’t have many of those in the UK!”

Sam says the positive and supportive learning environment for junior doctors at Nepean Hospital has been evident in his first few weeks with us.

“Everybody’s very friendly and approachable. The workplace feels like more of a team than a hierarchical structure and asking questions is actively encouraged. It’s great to know you can seek out help and it’s available,” says Sam.

While his move was planned as a temporary exercise to gain some experience overseas, Sam says his time so far in Sydney has been so positive, it may just become a permanent move.

“I knew that a year training in Australia would be beneficial for my career and I may go back to the UK potentially at some point, but I’m quite enjoying it here. The weather’s much better here,” he adds.

The sunny weather isn’t the only benefit he’s found to living in Sydney and working at Nepean Hospital.

“The work-life balance seems better and there are so many opportunities to be outside. You know, you can be in the city in the morning and by the afternoon you’re at the beach or the national park. That life seems quite nice,” says Sam who jokingly adds that he hasn’t had a bad coffee since arriving in Australia.

Sam encourages anyone abroad considering joining the team at Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District to make the move.

“I’d definitely say move out,” he says.

“I left after only completing the first year of UK medical training and I’m quite pleased I didn’t wait too long to make the move here. There’s lots of work in terms of administration, but it’s definitely worth it once you get out here.”

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