10 May 2023

Medical student back on old turf at Western Cape College

| Sarah Martin
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At Western Cape College earlier this month – Kurt Lynch, Erin Taylor, Callem Rushby and Nathan Tennent.

TWO short visits to hospital in high school were the catalyst for former Western Cape College student Erin Taylor to pursue a career in medicine and she is now encouraging others to follow her lead.

Erin, who is in her sixth year of study at James Cook University in Mackay, travelled back to her hometown earlier this month to meet students and share her knowledge about careers in medicine.

She graduated in 2016 after completing her primary and secondary education at Weipa and said anyone could pursue a career in medicine.

“In Year 12 I had no clue what I wanted to do, but after some work experience in the hospital I realised I wanted to become a doctor,” she said.

Erin said she didn’t know anything about the course or what it was like working as a doctor, but had been pleasantly surprised.

“The reality is very different to what I imagined, in a good way,” she said.

“I have a lot more spare time than I thought, and I love how hands-on the course is.”

During her study and training, Erin has travelled to Proserpine, Bowen, Palm Island and Weipa.

Although she was set on a career in medicine following her high school work experience, Erin said it wasn’t until a trip to Cairns with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and being treated by doctors she didn’t know, that her to pick her speciality.

“I would have been much more comfortable with a doctor I knew in such a distressing time,” she said.

“This motivated me to begin training to be a rural generalist, a very skilled jack of all trades doctor who works in rural and remote hospitals.

“I want to provide a community with a familiar face so that when people know who’s looking after them and I know them, too.”

Erin’s final words of advice for remote students were that there was always support and options.

“There are always bridging courses, and the university is happy to discuss options on how to get in and bursaries for financial support,” she said.

“I’m so grateful I got the chance to talk about my experience in med school and share where a medicine degree can take you.”

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