Life as an F3 Doctor in Bendigo, Australia
Moving abroad as a junior doctor can be scary, so knowing what to expect before you make the move is really important. Here, we’ll take a closer look at Bendigo in Australia to help you decide whether it’s a good fit for your F3 year.
Where is Bendigo?
Bendigo is a city in the state of Victoria, in south-east Australia, with an urban population of around 100,000 people. Bendigo was originally built during the gold rush in Australia, and as a result of the gold discovered and sold from the area the city thrived. This is why you can see some of the country’s most beautiful public buildings, sculptures, gardens and fountains in Bendigo.
Bendigo is one of Victoria’s fastest-growing localities and is the third-largest city in Victoria. Despite this, it is very easy to get around Bendigo and it is just a short commute to the central business district.
While it is based inland, it’s in close proximity to the popular coastal city of Melbourne. From Bendigo, state capital Melbourne is easily reachable by bus, train, or car, each in just under two hours, so it’s easy to head there for the weekend anytime you fancy a change of scenery. The train is direct and only costs $30!
Bendigo is 2 hours from the beach, 3 hours from the ski fields and 1 and half hours from a number of rivers where you can enjoy a range of activities and events.
Things to do in Bendigo
When looking for things to do and places to unwind, Bendigo certainly has an abundance of spots for some well-deserved relaxation away from your shifts at the hospital. Nearby Lake Weeroona and the stunning Rosalind Park are great locations to go for some down-time.
Another potential sanctuary is the Bendigo Art Gallery, which is one of Australia’s oldest galleries and is still thriving, while Bendigo’s golf courses could provide just the release you need to take your mind off work. There’s also a local cinema and a fun bowling alley right in the centre of town!
And if watching local basketball at Bendigo Stadium isn’t enough entertainment for you, a quick day trip to Melbourne to watch some cricket, rugby, or tennis will always make for a fantastic experience.
Food, Drink, and Nightlife
Bendigo is a designated UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, boasting many restaurants, cafes and a local farmers’ market as well as lots of food tours of the city to sample the local cuisine. The city has an exciting events calendar, catering for a variety of tastes all year round, from music to food and culture. With its trendy Chancery Lane, the city could even be seen as somewhat of a microcosm of Melbourne’s famous bar and restaurant scene.
Bendigo is also home to the largest regional art gallery in Australia and on the doorstep to some of the region’s best wineries.
The city’s nightlife is also widely praised. In recent years, locals have encouraged a shift towards a more low-key atmosphere, putting greater emphasis on live music rather than nightclubs. This has created a more relaxed, inclusive, and comfortable environment for residents out on the town in the evenings.
What's the weather like?
If you’re considering a move to Australia because you’re keen to trade in our dreary UK weather for a bit more vitality, you’ll be pleased to know Bendigo enjoys warm, dry summers and cool winters. The temperature can reach around 30 degrees in their summer months of January and February, and only drops to around 10 degrees in the winter.
How does the cost of living compare?
Rent in Bendigo is around $1,030 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, which equates to roughly £530. This is very appealing when compared to the $1,820 that would cost you in Melbourne. It’s almost half the price! And with the cost of living typically lower in Australia than in the UK, there could be some serious annual savings available for UK doctors moving to Bendigo.
Of course, it’s important to remember that any long-distance move will also require a number of initial costs, such as air travel, visas, shipping your belongings, possibly some temporary property rental, and other essential expenses. It’s crucial to account for these before making your decision and to factor them in when planning ahead.
Hospitals in Bendigo
Finding a new hospital where you'll feel at home shouldn’t be too hard in Bendigo either.
Bendigo Health is the city's largest hospital, only public hospital, and a major regional hospital. Boasting a cutting-edge 372-inpatient bed facility, the hospital is spread across three main campuses and employs around 4,000 staff.
Bendigo Health offers a wide variety of services and specialities, creating a wealth of potential directions to take your medical career. On top of treating around 80,000 patients per year, the hospital also regularly participates in charity events and fundraising activities.
St. John of God is the largest private hospital in Bendigo. This hospital is part of a reputable non-profit healthcare group with over 100 years of experience, employing over 14,500 staff across Australia, New Zealand, and APAC, providing a vast number of opportunities to explore for young doctors.
Bendigo is also served by a privately-owned smaller surgical facility, the Bendigo Day Surgery, and all these hospitals are located nearby in the city centre.
Other points of interest
Dating back to the 1850s, Bendigo has been one of the biggest gold-producing cities in the world, and this heritage is reflected in its unique architecture, style, and historical landmarks.
In practical terms, an efficient public transport system will help you get around while you find your feet. Furthermore, because tourism is a big part of the local economy in Bendigo, it’s renowned for being a friendly and respectful environment for newcomers.
Bendigo is also known for its lively city centre, but has a great balance of natural surroundings, as well as plenty of picturesque parks and gardens to compliment the urban lifestyle. So if you like the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital but prefer to escape to some peace and quiet outside of work, Bendigo could be the ideal place for you.
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