Dr Katie Blunt did not necessarily set out to become a doctor.
Her parents said she was interested in the prospect as a child, she told the Bendigo Advertiser, but it was only when she was older that she decided to take a chance on it given she enjoyed working with people and the sciences.
It seems moving into medicine was the perfect decision for the young doctor, who has won the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria's Junior Doctor of the Year award.
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Dr Blunt, who works as an intern at Bendigo Health, has been recognised for her advocacy on behalf of other young doctors, her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, and being a proponent of regional and rural practice and training.
She did not know she had even been nominated until she found out she had won, and said she was "very honoured" to have received the gong.
Dr Blunt grew up in Melbourne and came to Bendigo as a student doctor.
"My experience as a student was that Bendigo is a very welcoming community," Dr Blunt said.
She became involved with community groups and enjoyed the regional lifestyle Bendigo had to offer.
"I really like that a regional health service can provide community-specific care that a lot of metropolitan hospitals can't," Dr Blunt said.
She now considers Bendigo her home and hopes it will remain so for years to come.
Dr Blunt has acted as a voice for fellow young doctors and is currently the vice president of the Bendigo Health HMO Society, a group for junior and student doctors.
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She has advocated on issues around overtime and rosters, and during the pandemic, has worked to ensure there is sufficient personal protective equipment and effective communication between management and junior doctors.
Dr Blunt said she had been lucky to feel she did have a voice to speak out: if she could advocate and make changes to better the wellbeing of her colleagues, she should.
As a student Dr Blunt had a keen interest in obstetrics and gynaecology, but she said this year she had enjoyed everything she had done.
As such, she said, she was keeping an open mind when it came to the future direction of her career.
Having won the PMCV award, Dr Blunt is now in the running for the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils' National Junior Doctor of the Year.