Dr Lilach Leibenson
From Israel to Bathurst – Dr Lilach Leibenson
In 2011, with three young children under their wings, doctors Max and Lilach Leibenson, after concluding their extensive specialisations, Lilach in Gynaecology/Obstetrics, and Max in Orthopaedic Surgery, left their home country of Israel to make a new life for themselves in Australia, in search after new professional challenges as well as making the acquaintance with new people and cultures.
“After several months in Sydney I was offered to work in my profession at the Bathurst Base Hospital and Max found his position at the hospital in Orange,” recalls Lilach. “Already in our first visit to Bathurst we have been warmly and invitingly greeted at the hospital. We were most impressed while visiting the All Saints College as school for the kids and by the general peaceful welcoming atmosphere of the town. We decided to accept the offer.”
As junior expert specialists, both doctors had to retrain in Australia. For Lilach, additional training meant one year under supervision in Bathurst followed by exams which she passed successfully about two years ago. For Max it meant two years under supervision one in Orange and one in Sydney, followed by exams which he passed successfully in May 2014.
“Being international medical graduates, we were required to commence work in a rural area,” says Lilach. “Since gaining official Australian recognition of my proficiency as an expert Gynaecologist/Obstetrician, I have continued working at the Bathurst hospitals and in surrounding towns. I have also opened a private clinic in Bathurst.”
While Max completes his retraining duties in Sydney, Lilach juggles work and children in Bathurst. When Max joins them in the near future, not only will the family be reunited permanently, but Bathurst will gain the much needed services of an in-house orthopaedic surgeon.
“I am usually helped by babysitters,” explains Lilach. “We are fine, but I think as soon as Max joins us here it will be easier.”
The disadvantages of not having close family on hand to help have been somewhat softened by the welcoming Bathurst community. Lilach says the local medical fraternity helped her settle in, find the right school for her children and invited her to join in social occasions.
“Dr Halloway, whom I am working with in the clinic, was a model boss when I had my year of supervision and now he is a great colleague.”
After a year of trial, the Leibensons purchased a house in Bathurst and are looking forward to the years ahead, watching their children grow and flourish and enjoying the diversity and challenges of working as medical specialists in regional NSW. According to Lilach, doctors in the city don’t realise what they are missing in not living in the country, supporting, assisting and contributing to their immediate community.
“I am amazed! Because really, three hours from Sydney and you have such a challenging while fulfilling life.”