Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Shepparton medical student glad she's here

Second-year medical student Louise Manning shares her thoughts on her time based in Shepparton.

LOUISE MANNING June 27, 2014 3:30am

Louise Manning with (back) Robert Holian and Annabel Sheehan.

Since moving to Shepparton in February this year, myself and 21 other second-year medical students from the University of Melbourne have been delighted by the community, which has wholeheartedly embraced us.

We are a diverse cohort comprising of students from rural and metropolitan backgrounds, including returning Goulburn Valley residents.

Yet community engagement has become a part of everyday life for all of us now living in Shepparton and many feel more integrated here than they ever did when living in Melbourne.

Some students took great interest in this year’s SheppARTon Festival and attended events during the month.

One highlight was Orchestra in the Dookie Hills, where a group of us packed a picnic and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon in the sun before heading to a nearby winery for a tasting.

Gyms seem to be getting good business from our stay and we have added our numbers to local netball (Shepparton Bears) and soccer clubs (Shepparton United), and the Goulburn Valley Academy of Ballet.

Also, three of us are involved in the latest production of Shepparton Theatre Arts Group.

Shepparton has similarly provided opportunities for volunteer work and many students have been getting involved with Shepparton English Language Centre for refugees and Smith Family Tutoring for high school students.

On an educational level the great facilities offered by the Rural Clinical School and Goulburn Valley Health have made studying in Shepparton a rewarding experience.

In particular, the clinical skills laboratory next to the specialist consulting suites at GV Health has proven to be an amazing resource.

Here, we are taught important clinical skills, such as basic life support, venipuncture and suturing, and are able to practise emergency simulations before being let loose on the population of Greater Shepparton.

Being placed rurally in Shepparton has provided us with unique learning opportunities.

Our training has been terrific because of the amazing doctors and nurses who teach us and (of equal importance) the friendly community members who are our patients.

We have found that compared with other students learning in metropolitan hospitals, we have had increased access to patients one-on-one, and that country patients are just generally more willing to have a chat and allow us to practise our procedural skills than their metropolitan counterparts (under supervision, of course).

Because we are so passionate about studying in Shepparton, the University of Melbourne’s student-run Rural Health Club, known as Outlook, has produced a publication for future students thinking of coming to GV Health.

It promotes life in Shepparton, detailing what to expect from GV Health, great places to eat, activities to do in town and how to become involved in the local community.

My advice for medical students and doctors considering GV Health? You won’t regret it. Shepparton is a great place to call home.

Louise Manning is a second-year medical student studying at Goulburn Valley Health.

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