Wide Bay celebrates 21 graduating medical students

6 Dec 2022

This Friday, twenty-one students based at The University of Queensland Rural Clinical School (UQRCS), Bundaberg and Hervey Bay Regional Clinical Units will swap their scrubs for mortar boards and gowns as they graduate with a Doctor of Medicine (MD).

Bundaberg Class of 2022
Bundaberg Regional Clinical Unit Class of 2022
Hervey Bay Class of 2022
Hervey Bay Regional Clinical Unit Class of 2022

Graduating students Oliver Wightman and Brenna Shannon-Dear have enjoyed living and studying in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay and the inclusiveness of the communities.

Oliver has studied for the last two years through the UQRCS in Bundaberg and said the hospital environment gave him the opportunity to be incredibly hands-on and involved in the care of patients.

"Growing up in Brisbane all my life, I would have never come to Bundaberg were it not for the opportunity presented by the RCS,” Oliver said.

"Now I've spent two formative years here, I know I'd be able to really happily train or build a long-term career in a town like Bundy.

"Apart from the obvious benefits of living 10 minutes from the beach and five minutes from the hospital, the community at Bundy made the experience worthwhile.

"It helped us get a sense of how smaller, more connected communities can have a huge benefit for your social wellbeing," he said.

For Brenna, having grown up in rural Queensland, she chose to complete her final two-years in Hervey Bay as she knew the opportunities a regional town would offer.

"Studying at the RCS provided me the kind of supportive environment I didn't know I needed,” Brenna said.

“The fact that I was surrounded by students in similar situations to me, as well as had easy access to staff who go out of their way to assist you made life that much easier.

“Living in a regional town is the kind of stress-free lifestyle you really benefit from during hard times - which everyone undoubtedly experiences," she said.

Director of UQRCS, Associate Professor Riitta Partanen said that the common themes among RCS students is that spending time living and studying in a regional area has given them a deep appreciation of the challenges in regional medicine and even inspired many to pursue careers in regional, rural and remote locations.

“This year marked 20 years of the UQRCS, and we celebrate our 1,638 graduates who have studied with us for at least one year, over the past 20 years, in one of our four locations of Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Toowoomba,” Associate Professor Partanen said.

“Congratulations to our graduating students; you should be incredibly proud of your efforts, and we know that collectively you will go on to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

“We are immensely proud to be part of the start of your journey into medicine,” she said.

For further information on studying medicine in Wide Bay, please visit rcs.medicine.uq.edu.au or follow us on Facebook.