I grew up knowing both the joys and the trials of living in a rural area. My maternal grandparents live and raised my mother in George Town, Tasmania, while my paternal grandparents raised my father in Bangor, Tasmania. I spent much of my childhood observing the peacefulness and the freedom of living way out yonder – but I also came quite quickly to understand that there were many hardships.
This year, my final year of medicine, I was able to undertake my Rural GP placement in Scottsdale with the assistance of RUSTICA’s scholarship. Through their financial assistance, I was able to integrate myself into the rural community of Scottsdale, learning my way around their streets, what services they had available to them, and (perhaps my favourite part) exploring the natural wonders that exist in these areas untouched by urban infrastructure. A whole new world just 60 minutes away.
My experience in Scottsdale was incredibly fulfilling – I not only learned how to treat, manage and care for patients in North-East Tasmania but also what it means to live in a community where you are a medical professional. I learned the leadership and responsibility that comes with such a position, and that it is a privilege to be looked upon by your patients as a person to trust with their most vulnerable and painful moments. I spent time in the surgery with the GPs, the nurses, and also spent some time up in the Scottsdale hospital admitting patients and rounding with the doctors there.
With RUSTICA’s assistance I was also able to have some weekends off work – my colleagues from Ochre medical were kind enough to show me the beauty of Ralph Falls and Mount Paris Dam, taking me for a day trip out to truly feel what my life could be like as a Rural Generalist. It was a peaceful and enlightening placement which I am so grateful to have experienced.
I would like to encourage all students to undertake placements in rural areas – you will learn skills that you may never have learned otherwise and will make some amazing friendships.
Explore the worlds that exist outside your urban area, just a few hours’ drive away, and take in all they have to show you.
Written by Montana Chugg- 2022 Rustica Scholarship Recipient