University medical students Shona Schadel and Emily Rushton are being immersed in Deniliquin’s medical and recreational lifestyle.By Zoe McMaugh
It only took a few days for medical students Shona Schadel and Emily Rushton to fall in love with Deniliquin.
Neither had been here before but both agreed they were looking forward to experiencing what Deniliquin has to offer.
The aspiring GPs are here for two weeks as part of the Bush Bursary program, which aims to introduce doctors to rural practices and the country lifestyle.
The ultimate aim of the program, which is supported by Deniliquin Council, is to encourage the young students to consider setting up a practice in rural and regional areas.
Both budding doctors said they were looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about Deniliquin’s medical system, but to also take part is some recreational activities.
When the Pastoral Times spoke to them last Tuesday they were excitedly preparing to set off for a dinner cruise on Richard and Pat Fogarty’s houseboat.
They also hope to be able to take a dip in the Edward River before heading home.
Shona arrived in Deniliquin the day after Australia Day with her husband and, being the a long weekend, got the chance to explore the district before going to ‘work’ on Tuesday.
‘‘I went to the information centre where Denise (Thomas) showed me around. It’s a good little set-up there with the museum and the old school.
‘‘I also got to look around Echuca a bit.’’
Shona is studying at the University of Sydney and was a pharmacist before deciding to study medicine.
She chose to come to Deniliquin because she had never been here before.
‘‘I chose places which seemed to be most rural, so I could get the real rural experience,’’ she said.
‘‘On Tuesday, I was with Dr (Robert) Campbell and went with him on his hospital rounds. It was fantastic and he explained a lot.’’
Emily’s first day was at Deniliquin Hospital in the accident and emergency department (A&E), but she said she was ‘‘hanging out’’ to start working with the general practitioners.
She wants to be a rural GP and is studying at the Australian National University.
She says she is committed to working in a rural community for a number of years after finishing her medical training.
‘‘I’d heard of Deniliquin and was encouraged by my father and some friends to come here.
‘‘My dad used to work on the railways and he had worked out this way.
‘‘A friend of mine a few years ahead of me at university came here a few years ago with the program and recommended it.’’
Both students agreed the people they had met so far were ‘‘lovely’’.
In their two weeks here, Shona and Emily will spend time with local doctors, hospital staff and allied health professionals.
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