"Rural clinical study has been fantastic – one of the biggest benefits is the smaller group sizes and the one-on-one time... The fantastic teaching staff have given me a really good idea of what practicing in a rural environment is like."
As part of the Extended Rural Cohort program, Doctor of Medicine student Rebecca has just completed her second year at North East Health in Wangaratta. She is from Albury and chose the Wangaratta Clinical School so she could be close to her family.
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"After secondary school I had a feeling that I wanted to do Medicine but was still unsure. I chose to do my undergraduate degree in Science at Melbourne University because I wanted to explore broader options, including psychology, and to be sure that medicine was the right fit for me, and it was.
"Rural clinical study has been fantastic – one of the biggest benefits is the smaller group sizes and the one-on-one time – doctors know who we are and would invite us in to watch them perform procedures.
"We rotate through different wards in the hospitals and have the opportunity to follow patients through the whole process from Emergency, the medical wards, and in some cases, the rehabilitation facility.
"The fantastic teaching staff have given me a really good idea of what practicing in a rural environment is like. There is a great team atmosphere at the hospital – everyone knows each other and is happy to help.
"I think you can have a better work-lifestyle balance as a rural doctor. Since I have been in Wangaratta I have seen and enjoyed a lot of the area – wineries, hiking, and the ski season during the middle of the year.
"I am really looking forward to my third year where I will be based at a GP Clinic in Corowa and on rotations to surrounding hospitals.
"Many of the students at Wangaratta have spoken about heading back to Wangaratta in the next couple of years to do their Research Projects or Internships – that’s probably the best testament of how much we have enjoyed the year and how good we have found the learning."