Year 1 Medical School students experienced life in the country recently during Rural Week activities in Goulburn, Bega and Cooma regions, taking part in a range of activities throughout the week introducing them to rural life.
Thirty-two students spent the week in Goulburn, Rural Clinical School staff and several students were interviewed by the Goulburn Post in the following article:
They’re the future of medicine in Australia, and they’ve spent the past week getting a taste of rural life here in Goulburn.
Now in its 10th year, Rural Week brings students from the ANU Medical School and immerses them in Goulburn.
Under the watchful eye of Senior Lecturer and academic coordinator Dr Isabella Hawke and colleague Dr Tony Whelan, 32 students spent this week visiting Goulburn Base Hospital and other local sites.
“The students learn about the history of Goulburn, visiting the gaol, Garroorigang historic home and Riversdale,” Dr Hawke said.
“We aim to give these students a positive experience in the country, so when they’ve finished their studies they’ll consider pursuing a career in a rural area,” Dr Hawke said.
“We have a very diverse group with us this week, from a wide variety of backgrounds. This is a postgraduate degree for them all.
“What many people don’t understand is that it’s a long road to graduating with a medical degree. These students have another four years before they can become interns.” It’s a long road that hasn’t discouraged the students.
From Sydney, 21 year old Finlay has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology from the University of Sydney, and said he has been looking forward to the week in Goulburn.
“I chose to come to ANU because of a number of recommendations from others, especially about its rural program and size of the cohort. The small number of students along with the dedicated staff has meant an incredible attention to detail and a level of student-teacher interaction that just wasn’t viable in my undergraduate degree at Sydney University.
“Also, the number of options for rural placements exceeded expectations and I’m looking forward to all the opportunities, including this week in Goulburn.
“The friendliness of the people (in Goulburn) stuck me straight away. At the hospital today we walked into the pathology section and a whole bunch of patients greeted us and asked if we were students and how we were enjoying Goulburn.
“It’s a kind of openness that I’ve always been told is associated with smaller cities and it’s really noticeable and welcoming.
“I was really impressed with the hospital and willingness of the staff to show us around even though we are just first year medical students with only six weeks under our belts.”
Ahmed, who has a Bachelor’s degrees in engineering and science, moved from Melbourne this year and is currently studying the MChD program to be a doctor, described the ANU program as “world class”.
“The ANU medical program is world class. We’re thrown in the deep end right from the start and given more opportunities than we know what to do with. The research focus and global placements should keep me in good stead for the future too.”
A relative local from down the road in Bowral, Alison, moved to Sydney last year to work as a research assistant at Westmead Hospital. She made the switch to Canberra this year to study medicine at ANU.
“So far it has been a fantastic program. The University is very supportive and the cohort I’m with is fantastic,” Alison said.
“There is a lot of support from students in higher years, along with a strong focus on rural medicine which I personally am really enjoying as I would like to eventually end up in a rural area.
“I’ve been to Goulburn a number of times and was quite familiar with it so I asked the others what they thought. Everyone was impressed with how welcoming and friendly everyone is. A lot of people thought the town centre was very pretty.”
Article from the Goulburn Post, Goulburn NSW, by Pete Oliver, 30 March 2015 http://www.goulburnpost.com.au/