WARRNAMBOOL continues to be an appealing finishing school for new doctors.
Deakin University’s Warrnambool-based Greater Green Triangle Clinical School will host 45 students this year.
As rural and regional areas continue to struggle to attract doctors, the clinical school is producing high-achieving graduates.
Four of the last seven duxes of the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery course from a cohort of about 130 students across four clinical schools have come from the Warrnambool-based course.
The latest of those was the 2017 dux Elina Ziukelis.
A former qualified chef, Ms Ziukelis worked at her trade for six years before deciding to go back to school.
“It wasn’t as much of a shock to the system as you might imagine,” she said.
“When working full-time, you gain a lot of skills that are ideal for study. I was always a good student but working as a chef I developed other skills.”
Dr Ziukelis completed her Bachelor of Science at University of Melbourne and then went on to her four-year the Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at Deakin.
She said the Deakin course appealed because it made it easy for people from diverse backgrounds and ages to enrol.
“I knew the average age of students at Deakin was higher than other universities and I knew I would be studying with people from different backgrounds,” Dr Ziukelis said.
“I learnt a lot from other people,we helped each other along.”
Some backgrounds of other students in Dr Ziukelis’ class include a former accountant, allied health professionals, a dancer, an IT expert, engineers and a costume designer.
After the first two years of her post-graduate study at the Waurn Ponds campus, Dr Ziukelis made Warrnambool her first preference for the final two years.
“Everyone knew what a fantastic reputation Warrnambool has,” she said.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it and haven’t looked back once.”
Dr Ziukelis said she wasn’t surprised by the success of the Greater Green Triangle Clinical School.
“The consultant doctors at the hospital are very supportive and give us a lot of attention,” she said.
“And the people of Warrnambool have been very welcoming and allowed us to take part in their health care.”
The clinical school’s Director of Clinical Studies, Associate Professor Barry Morphett, attributed the ongoing success to the quality of the teaching staff.
“This success is due to the teaching and dedication from the clinicians,” Associate Professor Morphett said.