Future doc falls for Deni

Bush Bursary scholarship recipient, Lachlan Mactier and Deniliquin Medical Centre practice manager, Alice Murphy.

After their two week placement in January was cut short due to COVID, medical students Lachlan Mactier and Constance Malliaras were back in Deniliquin last week to experience life as a doctor in a regional setting.

As part of the Bush Bursary scholarship program, the medical students have been able to experience rural living, while gaining hands on experience in the medical field.

Despite only having heard of Deni because of the Ute Muster and former Australian cricketer Simon O’Donnell, after last week’s visit Lachie said Deni will always have a special place in his heart.

“I’d love to come back one day,” he said.

“To work in a country town as a doctor would be a dream, but particularly to be back here in Deni.”

While Lachie was a little nervous before his January visit, he said coming back has been an amazing experience.

“You never really know what to expect when coming into a new place, but after spending a couple of days here earlier this year, I’ve come back and everyone has been so welcoming,” he said.

Growing up in Sydney, Lachie’s fond memories of “bashing around properties” with his dad on school holidays and the community aspect of regional towns led him to apply for a Bush Bursary scholarship.

“Everyone is so damn nice here compared to the city,” he said.

“In my short time here I have met so many lovely people and been able to get a sense of what this lifestyle is like - it’s really a draw card.”

When asked about the highlights of the week Lachie simply replied, “what hasn’t been a highlight”.

“I have seen and learnt so much in the last week,” he said.

“I have nearly a full book of notes to take back to Sydney, which I will probably refer back to for the rest of my life.

“You can spend all day in the books, but what you read and what you learn hands on is a completely different thing.”

During their week in Deniliquin, the medical students spent time at Deniliquin Veterinary Clinic, Deniliquin Medical Centre, Deniliquin Clinic, Deniliquin Hospital and Shiloh Medical Practice.

The Bush Bursary program in Deniliquin is supported by the Country Women’s Association, the NSW Rural Doctors Network and Edward River Council.