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Medical Students invited to come back to Bourke

Medical students at 2WEB last week with Victor Bartley – at back l-r: Harry Hamblin, Hannah Nobes, Hansel Lee, Ashlee Negrone, Hannah McPherson, Elizabeth Hall, at front: David Hodge and Victor Bartley. Photo TWH

A group of five medical students and two student dieticans from leading NSW universities were in Bourke last week to learn firsthand why they should consider a career in the bush.

The students are spending a few weeks getting to know Bourke and the issues facing remote communities with limited medical facilities.

They include an Australian Army Major, who was seeking to become a doctor when he completes his medical degree, and student Harry Hamblin from Young, who said he wanted to contribute to the quality of life for people in country communities.

Harry admitted he and David didn’t fit the typical profile of a medical student but said their University, Notre Dame, was keen to enrol students with life experience.

David has been in the Defence Force for 17 years after signing up as a nurse at the age of 18.

“I then became an infantry officer for about a decade but decided to continue my medical career, so the Army is supporting my studies for my medical degree,” he said.

“At the end of my training I will be a qualified Army doctor.

“I see a lot of correlation between rural and military experience. I have served in lots of rural places so when Harry said come to Bourke to do our voluntary work, I was very keen.

“The country is very special to me after living regionally, so I jumped at the chance,” he said.

Harry said as second year students at Notre Dame University, there was a volunteer commitment in their training and rather than committing to a city soup kitchen, he decided to return to the bush and through his volunteering, help support rural health in Bourke.

“Notre Dame is a great medical school which takes students with life experience, such as Major David Hodge. […]

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