University of Tasmania medical students were formally welcomed to the North-West during an annual celebration event held in Burnie on Thursday, 1 February.
The Community Welcome BBQ introduces incoming Rural Clinical School (RCS) students to representatives from government, health and the locality.
RCS Director Dr Lizzi Shires said students learn about what living in the region is like and the unique training opportunities it provides during their degree and following graduation.
“This year we will have 52 students who are coming here to complete their fourth or final year of medicine in Burnie,” Dr Shires said.
“It is brilliant to see so many students with an interest in rural medicine either returning or relocating to the Coast to further their study.
“Rural medical professionals contribute so much to our communities, and by giving these students an opportunity to discover what working and living here is like, we hope that they enjoy the lifestyle and consider staying on.
“Last year more than half our cohort stayed on as interns and many of our alumni are now practising in the region.”
The recipients of two prestigious scholarships were also announced during the event.
The Simon Monks Memorial Award for Excellence in General Practice recognises a high-achieving medical student who has demonstrated outstanding performance in their GP attachment and the RCS teaching program.
This year it was awarded to fifth-year student Wesley Saunders. Wesley grew up in Burnie and undertook his GP placements in Ulverstone and Burnie last year.
Ashley Brown received the Rotary Club of Burnie Scholarship in Rural Medicine.
The accolade supports a student with an interest in rural medicine who is commencing the final two years of their clinical studies at the RCS.
Ashley has returned to Burnie to complete her training, having grown up on the North-West Coast.
She has been active in Rural Medicine since starting medical school and is now President of the rural students' organisation Rustica.
Ashley will undertake her general practice attachment in Burnie and will be involved with the Rotary Club and its community activities.