Hannah-Jane Sherrin has been awarded a Land Rural Scholarship to help with her medical studies at The University of New England in Armidale. Photo: JoJo Newby
Hannah-Jane Sherrin has been awarded a Land Rural Scholarship to help with her medical studies at The University of New England in Armidale. Photo: JoJo Newby

$7.5k study help thanks to commitment to rural health

SOUTH Grafton High School graduate Hannah-Jane Sherrin's commitment to rural health has earned her a $7500 scholarship to help her finish her second year of study.

Ms Sherrin, studying medicine at the University of New England, said the scholarship was a big boost to her and her family.

"It will cover my accommodation expenses and petrol getting to and from lectures," she said.

Her strong commitment to working as a doctor in rural areas made her a natural for the scholarship.

"I'm massively aware of the shortage of doctors in rural areas," Ms Sherrin said.

"What it means is people in rural areas wait longer before seeking medical help, so they present to hospitals with more serious conditions and then spend more time in hospital.

"That's not the outcome doctors are looking to achieve."

The Land Rural Medical Scholarship has been offered for three years and is open to sec- ond year medical students from country NSW with the aim to encourage and support medical students to return to rural areas after they conclude their studies.

In addition to $7500 Ms Sherrin will be mentored by a member of the Rural Doctors Association of NSW Management Committee who are practising rural doctors.

The Rural Doctors Association of NSW acknowledges the support and commitment from The Land, as this scholarship would not be possible without their ongoing support.

President of the Rural Doctors Association of NSW Dr David Richmond thanked The Land for backing the scholarships again in 2013.

"Rural students are under-represented in tertiary degrees, including medicine, but are more likely to work in rural areas once their degrees are completed - this is why it is so critical to support country students who are studying medicine," Dr Richmond said.

"We hope the scholarships fill a small piece of the puzzle in attracting our bright country kids into medicine, and then hopefully keeping them involved in rural medicine once they have finished their degrees. With any luck the scholarships will act as a springboard to encourage the retention of some of these excellent country students into rural medicine for the longer term."



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