Local radiographer Avneet Chand has been offered a place in the Deakin Medical School that will be delivered from East Grampians Health Service’s Pyrenees House from 2024.
Mr Chand will be well known to many locals as he has worked as a radiographer at East Grampians Health Service for the last four years. Mr Chand also owns a home in Elizabeth Street, which he has been busily renovating.
East Grampians Health Service Director of Medical Services Dr Kaushik Banerjea identified that part of the future of a medical workforce for rural communities will be building on the skills of local nurses and allied health professionals.
“We are sure that the local health professionals will be exemplary Medical Officers in their own communities,” Dr Banerjea said.
Mr Chand said he was so excited to be able to study medicine in Ararat.
“I have always wanted to be a doctor, but the opportunity did not look like it would eventuate,” he said.
“It is wonderful that Deakin University has chosen to partner with East Grampians Health Service to offer this highly sought-after course in Ararat.”
Dr Banerjea is confident that Deakin University would fine tune its training program to ensure more of the doctors it trains in the rural sector stay in rural communities.
He said Ararat was the ideal location as Ararat Medical Centre has been a dedicated and committed partner in the teaching of medical students since Deakin started its medicine course.
Fifteen medical students will commence in 2024 at Pyrenees House, with face-to-face teaching as well as learning virtually from the main site in Geelong.
“COVID-19 taught us that things could be done differently. Deakin did that with teaching the cohorts of medical students who were isolated in their homes during lockdown, and they still graduated,” Dr Banerjea.
“The Ararat blended model of face-to-face and virtual teaching is something we are very excited about.”