IF A betting agency took wagers on neighbours graduating together as doctors it would face a big payout with former Eatonsville pair Bec Abrahall and Kate Pritchard.
The girls, who graduated as bachelors of Medicine and Surgery last week from the University of Sydney, are this week preparing their applications to be general practitioners
That they graduated together is no coincidence.
They grew up as "next door neighbours" on the Orara River in the small village north-west of Grafton.
Bec, a year ahead of Kate, completed her high school years at McAuley Catholic College. She headed off to the University of New South Wales with a business scholarship and completed a Bachelor of Commerce with 1st class honours.
After graduation, Bec was recruited by Ernst & Young, but after a year realised that the business world was not as exciting as she imagined it would be.
In the meantime, Kate completed her HSC at Grafton High School and went to the University of New England on a country scholarship to complete a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours).
Kate moved to Sydney to work and completed her honours year externally.
It was during one of their regular catch-ups that Bec suggested they do the Gamsat, the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test, knowing that Kate had always wanted to be a doctor.
They both passed the test at their first attempt and the elation soon evaporated as they reverted back to hard-working, impoverished students for the next four-and-a-half years.
During that time they have been a constant support to each other and while studying and living in Sydney they have always found time to return (along with text books) to their homes in Eatonsville for Christmas and family celebrations.
Bec is now working as an intern at the Tweed Heads Hospital and Kate is an intern at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick.
Both doctors are aiming to be general practitioners.