BMA Scholarship Aims
The Albury Wodonga Border Medical Student Scholarship has been an initiative by local doctors to reward the brightest year 12 students from all local schools accepted to study medicine and to encourage them to return ‘home’ after they graduate. It is known that if a doctor grew up in the country, or has a partner who enjoys a rural lifestyle, that they are likely to return to a rural practice for their whole career. The BMA Scholarship commenced in 1991, being the brainchild of Drs Richard Escott, Ron Bailey and Bill Orgill. Since then 76 first year medical students have received the benefit of financial support, as well as knowing the medical community is interested in their progress. The BMA encourages them to choose a local doctor as a mentor, since statistics show this improves their success in their studies.
The BMA considers the scholarship to be the most important stimulus to encourage local year 12 students, who achieve entry into any medical school in Australia, to return to Albury/Wodonga or any of the regional towns, after they graduate as doctors to assist the desperate shortage of doctors in this region.
These are the doctors for the future, more likely to stay in this community where their family and friends live, compared to students who grew up in a city or overseas. The scholarship is an investment in the future on behalf of this community.
This program is unique to Albury Wodonga and has the potential to assist the medical workforce in the future; many of the past students have taken a rural pathway and intend to practice in the country. This year there have been 9 new applicants.
A student selected by the committee receives a sum annually for the 6 years of Medicine; the other applicants may receive a sum to assist their relocation to a capital city, or for books and living expenses. They may also receive $500 credit card from the National Australia Bank. The amounts are subject to ongoing funding and decision by the BMA executive.