FOR 22 years Doctor Simon Wallace has been living and working in Leeton, which he says has provided him the perfect base to expand his skills along the way.
Doctor Wallace and his wife Christine, who is a registered nurse, came to Leeton in 1997.
At the time, the search was on for a general practitioner anesthetist at the Leeton Medical Centre and the pair decided to make the move down to regional NSW.
"Initially it was a six-month trial ... at the end of six months we were enjoying it and they wanted me to stay, so then we worked on a five-year plan to see how everything was going, but by then our kids had started to grow up and we had basically fallen in love with the place.
"Somewhere we had moved to had become home for us."
Dr Wallace is now one of the most respected doctors in Leeton, with residents even on waiting lists to become one of his patients.
He said living and working in a regional area had not impacted on his ability to expand his skills and knowledge, but rather the opposite.
"What I enjoy about working in a regional centre is the diversity," Dr Wallace said.
"I still give anesthetics at places like Griffith Base and in Narrandera from time-to-time.
"There's hospital work here. The general practice work.
"I also do some teaching with GP registrars both here in our practice and other practices as well. It's not just the same grind every day."
When Dr Wallace was studying to become a doctor at university, the idea that led him to rural practice, without having a rural background at all, was the opportunity to do different things throughout his career.
He sees regional centres such as Leeton as offering that opportunity.
"I also do a lot of skin stuff as well and I've been really lucky in this practice where I've always been allowed to pursue my (medical) interests," Dr Wallace said.
Somewhere we had moved to had become home for us.Doctor Simon Wallace
With technology continuing to advance, Dr Wallace said any potential doctors out there looking to come to Leeton shouldn't be worried about isolation.
"I'm biased, but it's a great place to work," he said.
"You get to know people and form great friendships.
"Not just at work but outside of work as well."
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