Esperance Rural Clinical School students arrive

Esperance has welcomed a few new residents, after this year’s rural medical students arrived on Monday, January 30.

Each year, students studying Medicine at the University of Western Australia and the University of Notre Dame are placed in a rural town for a 12 month period through the Rural Clinical School. 

Established in 2002 with federal funding, the school aims to attract more doctors to regional, rural and remote practice.

In 2018, the school has 88 students based across 14 sites, working alongside more than 100 staff.

Born in Munglinup, 100 kilometres outside of Esperance, Chris Pink moved to Perth as a child and has lived there ever since, studying Exercise and Sports Science as an undergraduate student.

Mr Pink said he was excited about spending the year in Esperance.

“This year is going to be about actually seeing the different areas of medicine and getting a taste of what we actually do want to do,” he said.

“We’re going to be getting more ‘hands on’ experience here, so we’ll actually know what it’s like.”

Describing himself as a man of ‘many hobbies’, Mr Pink said he was keen to spend the year playing sport, surfing, camping and doing anything else he can ‘fit in’.

Having moved from New Zealand, Ellie Jameson said she was a ski instructor before making the move to Perth to study Medicine.

Ms Jameson said although she did not know what to expect, she hoped to complete her internship rurally and then work ‘in the mountains somewhere’.

Ockie Botha grew up in Albany, before making the move to Perth to study.

Although unsure about the path he wishes to take, Mr Botha said he was keeping his ‘options open’ and looking forward to enjoying a year in Esperance.

“It’s a really beautiful part of the world,” he said.

Born in Perth, Alice Vella studied Pathology at UWA before starting Medicine.

With a ‘long road ahead’ and still time to decide, Ms Vella said she was eager to start her training.

“We’re going to get a lot more experience than we would have in Perth and everyone has been so friendly and welcoming,” she said. 

“I think I want to be a GP but I just want to see what everything is like before making a decision.

“I can’t wait to start, it’s going to be really good.”

Originally a physiotherapist, Claire Haselgrove had worked for several years before encountering what she deemed a ‘change of heart’.

Now studying Medicine, Ms Haselgrove said she was excited about living in Esperance for the year and looked forward to exploring.

“We’ll have to spend a lot of time at Cape Le Grand National Park and Lucky Bay, and camping,” she said.