EACH year Bendigo Health is home to a number of medical students from the University of Melbourne.
In 2014, three of these students are Bendigo locals!
Kiah Zeman, Rachel Drummond and I have had very different journeys since finishing high school, but what we all share in common is our decision to come back home to Bendigo for clinical training.
What motivated us to study medicine?
Kiah: Having an interest in health science throughout school and wanting to combine that with a career that helps people is what motivated me.
Rachel: No one specific thing motivated me - I think it all stems from a deep fascination in the way the human body works, how diseases affect it and the way that they can be treated.
Me: When I was younger my dad became very ill - if it weren’t for a specialist visiting from Melbourne my dad wouldn’t still be with us! Realising how important it is to get specialists out into the country is what motivated me.
What has been the most enjoyable thing about studying at Bendigo Health?
Kiah: Everything! The supportive teaching staff, patients who are only too happy to have a chat, a strong student network, and so many amazing opportunities to learn. I feel so privileged to be undertaking the first year of my clinical placement at Bendigo Health.
Rachel: I think it’s the patients; they’re all so friendly, and understanding of the fact that we’re just learning. Anyone willing to allow a student to come back for another go after they miss taking blood on their first attempt is a hero in my books!
Me: At the top of the list has to be the bedside teaching - the doctors at Bendigo Health are really passionate about teaching, which keeps classes interesting!
Do you think there’s enough support for country kids to attend medical school?
Kiah: The support is definitely out there, but sometimes it’s hard to find as a high school student.
Rachel: I think that what we have at the moment is a good start, but I couldn’t have attended medical school without the financial support of my parents and not everyone is as lucky as I am to have parents able and willing to do this.
Me: There’s room for improvement, but a number of organisations are working hard to support rural students attending medical school. I have personally received enormous financial and professional support.
What’s your advice to young (or old!) people in Bendigo interested in pursing a career in medicine?
Kiah: Go for it! If it's your passion and you're driven then you'll get there in the end.
Rachel: It’s never too late to decide that this is what you want to do; with hard work, determination and enthusiasm you can achieve anything.
Me: Be proactive – the only person that can stand in your way is you!
Editor's note: The Skye's The Limit column will return to its traditional fortnightly spot in Wednesday's Bendigo Advertiser on July 9.