Meeting friendly locals and experiencing strong community spirit in small towns have influenced medical student Grant Billingham's decision to become a doctor in rural Queensland.
Grant, a fifth year James Cook University medical student, is completing clinical experiences at Cloncurry Hospital and Mount Isa Hospital.
His placement was coordinated by the James Cook University Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health Centre, which delivers rural training experiences for medical, nursing, midwifery, dental and allied health students.
Grant grew up in Wagga Wagga in New South Wales and decided to study to become a doctor at the age of 25, after trying his hand at various jobs around his home town.
He said his clinical placements in Mount Isa and Cloncurry had reinforced his decision to work in rural and remote areas.
"It has confirmed to me that I'll end up in the bush somewhere, ideally in a town with a strong community spirit where there is plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities to help balance the work-life dilemma," he said
"I have enjoyed doing these placements because you get a lot more hands on and face-to-face experience on rural placements.
"If you have any interest in the outdoors or even just want to experience a tight-knit community, then it is very worthwhile."
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