Uni program a healthy tonic for rural medicine
Ms Fontaine, 23, has returned to rural Victoria where she grew up to study post-graduate medicine after completing her undergraduate degree in Melbourne.
After missing out on a place in undergraduate medicine, she completed a degree in biomedical sciences at Monash University. Now aged 23, she is part of the first cohort of students studying medicine with Monash University in the Gippsland region.
Sophie grew up in Hernes Oak and lived in central Melbourne while completing her undergraduate studies. She moved back home last year during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Monash University course does not require students to be bonded to working in a rural area and while Sophie wants to get some experience in a city hospital, she is keen to keep working in a rural setting.
“I really value the rural lifestyle having lived in Melbourne for a few years and now living back here,” she said. “I would want to empower people to be able to live wherever they would like in rural Victoria and still be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Associate Professor Shane Bullock, the acting head of Monash Rural Health, said students will be “completely immersed in rural medicine, study and life from the beginning of their first year through their clinical studies”.
“This enables and enhances opportunities for the majority of the program’s students to undertake
extended rural placements in the Murray-Darling region,” she said.
The new program was aimed at students already from rural regions “as well as giving metropolitan students a real opportunity to experience life in rural clinical practice”.