ARARAT Medical Centre has welcomed four new doctors to its practice.
Doctors Saif Abdul Rahman, Tanzeel Shah, Majid Sharifian and Mana Nasseri Akbar all joined the practice in the last few months.
This brings the number of doctors, including one locum and two students, to 15.
Each doctor has an interest in general medicine and Dr Rahman also has an interest in anesthetics.
The doctors bring some relief to the region, with average waiting times for a GP appointment in Ararat still between one and two weeks.
Speaking more broadly to the doctor shortage in rural Victoria, Western Victoria has the second highest number of health vacancies in the state at 56.
Meanwhile, the clinic has also been recognised for its commitment to service and quality.
The practice received an accreditation from independent body Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited for meeting the requirements of governing industry standards.
To earn accreditation, practices must undergo an extensive on-site review by a team of AGPAL surveyors over a 12 month period.
It is a voluntary process and evaluates practices against standards set by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, covering staff training, information security, safe and lawful use of practice equipment and the quality of medical care.
Areas of focus during the on-site assessment for accreditation include: ensuring vaccines are within their use-by dates and stored at the correct temperatures; practice equipment is clean and sterile; practice staff are up-to-date with their training; and the practice has emergency care available.
"The practice is very pleased and proud of their accreditation success," practice manager Garry Hurst said.
The practice recently also recognised thirty-five years of service from finance officer Chris Traynor.
Ms Traynor began at the clinic in 1984 as a receptionist before moving into the role of accounts officer before her current role as finance officer.
Over the years Ms Traynor has seen many changes, from a small practice of five general practitioners and one surgeon located behind East Grampians Health Service to the recently renovated practice at 55 High Street with up to 15 general practitioners.
Her dedication has led to her take on many duties over the years.
She has seen the practice move from A5 index hand-written clinical notes to the modern fully electronic clinical notes used today.
She said she remembered when desks held paperwork, calculators, phone books, telex machines, diaries, ledger machines, a dictionary, atlas, and shorthand notes - all of which has been replaced with a computer, mouse and keyboard.
"I have a lot of history and fond memories to look back on," Ms Traynor said.
In her time at the practice Ms Traynor has also completed a number of training courses and certificates in Practice Health Administration and a Diploma of Practice Management, Mr Hurst said.
"We were very keen to celebrate with Chris her 35 years of service," he said.
"This is a tremendous effort which in today's employment market where staying in one job for 10 years is an achievement. 35 years is exceptional."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Ararat shire, sign up here.