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Country commitment

May 28th, 2008

A program that trains doctors in rural and regional Victoria has recognised the talent of two students who have shown a commitment to their country communities.

Elizabeth Buchholz and Johanna Kelly have received scholarships through the Extended Rural Cohort program, which provides support to students who undertake most of their clinical training in northern Victorian hospitals and general practices.

Elizabeth Buchholz hails from Mingay southwest of Ballarat and wants to return to the country after her studies in Melbourne. "There's a real closeness between everyone in a small town that you don't get in a big city," she said.

Johanna Kelly from Kerang agreed. "There's a great support network in a country community," she said.

Director of the Bendigo Regional Clinical School Professor Geoff Solarsh said the program showed students there was a rewarding career in rural medical practice.

"It's a unique program that is generating a great deal of local support," Professor Solarsh said.

"Business and residents are keen to pitch in and help young students to achieve their goals and in return, the students will establish themselves professionally to care for the health and well being of their country communities."

Elizabeth Buchholz and Johanna Kelly

Hard work and a commitment to rural life has paid off for Elizabeth Buchholz and Johanna Kelly who have each been awarded a scholarship to assist them financially during the early years of their studies.