The impossible becomes reality

LAST year Rosie Zacher achieved what she had long believed was impossible for a person with her rural, more specifically, Thora, background.

She graduated from medicine at Queensland's Griffith University, taking a swag of awards with her, including the Dean's Medallion for Academic Excellence.

“It had always been in the back of my mind to do medicine,” the now 27-year-old said from her momentarily quiet desk at Stanthorpe Hospital in rural Queensland.

“But I never thought it would be possible - coming from the bush and not having a primary role-model of someone close who was a doctor, as many medical students do.

“It just seemed too daunting.”

Instead Rosie started her working life as an apprentice chef.

But early disappointment there led her to do a Medical Science degree, which then became post-graduate medical studies.

Thanks to two scholarships, she now has her degree and is looking forward to the long-road, between four and 10 years, to full qualification that lies ahead.

One scholarship, from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, was conditional on her working in the country after graduation and the other was a Queensland Health Rural Scholarship.

“Both scholarships paid me while I was studying. And the Queensland one was not based on academic results - they were interested in finding people who were suited to working in the country.”

Rosie describes her Thora upbringing, complete with Steiner education at the Chyrsalis School, as 'very alternative'.

“I think this allowed me to develop my creative side as well - maybe I'm less boring than I would otherwise be!”

She said the variety in rural medicine is what initially attracted her, and still does.

“I really would encourage anyone who is interested in medicine to give it a go - there is a lot of support for rural health out there.”

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