Shepparton region aspiring doctors on track

Hear what our 2019 and 2020 cohort of aspiring doctors enrolled in the Bachelor of Biomedical Science from our region have to say.

Regional students intending to practice medicine in a regional location are able to complete their entire training without having to go to Melbourne in this new end-to-end rural pathway delivered by La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne.

After gaining the La Trobe Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical), offered at our Bendigo and Albury/Wodonga campuses, students pathway into the into the Doctor of Medicine delivered by the University of Melbourne in Shepparton.

The first intake was in 2019, and we caught up with them and the 2020 cohort from our Shepparton region to see what they had to say...

2019 Biomedical Science (medical) cohort

Ella Sprunt (Kaarimba)    

WHY I APPLIED FOR THE COURSE?
Medicine was always the dream too far out of reach for a country kid like myself. I would've loved to have been a doctor growing up and had no desire to head to the city to study with no guaranteed place in a medicine degree. This course meant that the opportunity to study medicine became accessible to me. I am able to study in rural Victoria at the closest university to my home address (apart from La Trobe's Shepparton campus) which allows me to commute back and forth each week. The lifestyle is fantastic so far and I am looking forward to analysing rural health problems in a rural setting.

HIGHLIGHTS
So far, I am thoroughly enjoying the range of assessments. It's great to have a mixture of tasks rather than just tests after tests like it was in year 12. I love the small campus and smaller classes. My favourite part is that the lecturers know each student individually and took the time to learn our names and personalities. It has made the transition to university much easier.

CAREER ASPIRATIONS
At the moment I desire to just work as a GP in a rural community. I have seven years to change my mind about this several times though! I might also mention that I may have been re-watching Offspring repeatedly in the past few weeks. Obstetrics may be on the short list.

FUN FACTS
I ran in the 2018 Carmen's Half Marathon
I was trained by the coach of the Australian Netball Diamonds
I won a Georgy (Theatrical) Award for my lead performance in my school's production
I live on a dairy farm
I competed in my school's aerobics’ team at state finals
I love Thai food

Gabriella Hill (Shepparton)    

WHY I APPLIED FOR THE COURSE?
I applied for the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (medical) course in order to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor. Being a rural based program, I was inspired to apply for this course as I believed having a smaller cohort would provide a more in-depth learning experience. Held only in rural locations, the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (medical) course also meant that I wouldn’t be expected to pay the high living costs often experienced in the city. After partaking in work experience at the Shepparton Base Hospital, where the later part of our degree is held in conjunction with Melbourne University, I was further inspired to apply for this course. In addition to this, the convenience with having the second part of the course held in my hometown, Shepparton, was another reason I also decided to apply.

HIGHLIGHTS
After completing only one semester of the course, I am enjoying the fact that the student-lecturer relationships are close and quite similar to high school student-teacher relationships. This allowed for an easy transition into university and also encouraged my learning as I felt comfortable asking questions and seeking any assistance. I am also enjoying the subjects and learning the diversity of content that is being taught. The small cohort has also meant that we have formed valuable friendships, both in class and out.

CAREER ASPIRATIONS
My career aspirations as a regional medical practitioner are to one day specialise in a field of medicine. I am currently unsure of exactly what field I’d like to go into but I hope that my speciality will allow me to be able to provide elite care to those who are disadvantaged and would otherwise not be able to seek the help they need

FUN FACTS
I competed at nationals and went to the AIS for Javelin Throw
I have moved to a new house eight times in my life
I have never been to another country
I love pasta, especially carbonara
My absolute favourite colour is purple

Isabella Terevaskis (Murchison)    

WHY I APPLIED FOR THE COURSE?
I've always had a curious mind and was lucky enough to meet some great paediatricians throughout my childhood who inspired me to pursue medicine.

HIGHLIGHTS
I feel so lucky to be sharing this experience with some amazing country kids. I've felt so supported by my peers and staff throughout the whole process, making the study load far more enjoyable then I could have ever imagined.

CAREER ASPIRATIONS
I hope to work as a country paediatrician specialising in a field such as cardiology- in hope that one day families with sick children won't have to travel to metropolitan areas to receive the quality of care and advice that they deserve.

FUN FACTS
I am a keen sports supporter
I was raised on a fourth-generation dairy farm
I enjoy immersing myself in new cultures and experiences outside of my comfort zone

Nina Sullivan (Kyabram)    

WHY I APPLIED FOR THE COURSE?
A Bachelor of Biomedical Science (medical) provides me with the opportunity of a guaranteed place into medicine. I’m so grateful for this opportunity as I’ve always dreamed of becoming a doctor. It is exciting to study at La Trobe because at open day they appeared to have quite a focus on preparing students for careers. The course enables ease of mind as for the next three years I don’t need to worry about competing with my cohort for a place in medicine, given that I keep up my grade average.

HIGHLIGHTS
I enjoy learning in an environment where I have the support of both the teachers and my peers. The friendships I have made with the other students in this course, I believe I will have for life. It’s really special to be able to continue my pathway into medicine with them by my side. Something I really enjoy about the course is the excursions. They enable us to become closer as a cohort as well as gain valuable insight into rural medicine through guest speakers.

CAREER ASPIRATIONS
As a first-year student I’m not yet certain what my aspirations are. I’m interested in specialising in a field, potentially in gerontology. I think it’s important for rural patients to have access to specialist medical care, instead of having to travel to major cities. I believe preventative medicine is key and supporting people to maintain health rather than just treating disease would be very rewarding. Doctors have a role in educating in the community in collaboration with community health professionals and I think this would be a major part of my career.

FUN FACTS
I like bouldering and rock climbing
I played the role of Belle in my school’s production of Beauty and the Beast
I have a ginger cat called Narla
My favourite show is Steven Universe

2020 Biomedical Science (medical) cohort

Georgia Hunt (Mooroopna)    

WHY I APPLIED FOR THE COURSE?
I want to be a doctor in a rural setting. This course is close to my home. La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne have an excellent reputation. I love learning and I believe it will help me grow as a person

CAREER ASPIRATIONS
I aspire to work with Indigenous Australians, be a competent doctor and be an empathetic practitioner.

FUN FACTS
I have three children
I left high school at 16
I love lollies and chocolate
I am a registered nurse

Carina Rasmussen (Shepparton)    

WHY I APPLIED FOR THE COURSE?
After starting my undergraduate course in Melbourne, I was reminded of why I love the country so much. This course was the perfect opportunity for me to fulfil my education goals, and still be in a place that I love.

CAREER ASPIRATIONS
I hope to be a paediatrician practicing in country Victoria.

FUN FACTS
I have a bird and a cat (they are kept separate)
I love Chinese food
I will go to the beach no matter what the weather
One of my all-time favourite things to do are road trips and spontaneous adventures

Russell Mawson (Euroa)    

WHY I APPLIED FOR THE COURSE?
The opportunity to have a guaranteed medical place. The fact that the course is close to home makes it really appealing to me. I also have already made great friends with people in the course.

CAREER ASPIRATIONS
Work in the Royal Flying Doctors Service or perhaps work as a local GP

FUN FACTS
Love gardening and raising stock
I’ve raised chickens
Done a lot of farm work
Always wanted to be a doctor

James McConnell (Benalla)    

WHY I APPLIED FOR THE COURSE?
To gain a secure pathway into medicine and to be part of a course which is personable with its students is something that I have been looking for. I also applied for the course as it opens up hundreds of opportunities regarding placement regionally. I also have a passion for community and this course includes community engagement.

CAREER ASPIRATIONS
I would like to specialise as a doctor working in an emergency department or maybe a surgeon.

FUN FACTS
I am a competitive skier, won nationals in Australia and compete internationally (skiers cross)
I can play the piano
I am a ski instructor
I can speak German
I’m training for ski patrolling

Steven Vallance (Shepparton)    

WHY I APPLIED FOR THE COURSE?
I applied because being a doctor has always been a dream of mine, and to be able to complete the course in a regional town which is close to my home makes it extremely convenient. I also love working with like-minded people and so I thought this course was perfect!

CAREER ASPIRATIONS
I aspire to specialise and become an orthopaedic surgeon, hopefully in my old age I can teach my skills to new doctors.

FUN FACTS
I am a swimming instructor
I did a Navy gap year
I enjoy running, swimming and sports
I umpire football

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