A former students of Shepparton’s Notre Dame College, Ellen can't remember exactly when she decided to become a doctor or why. But now, after five years of studying medicine, she is determined to become a general surgeon and work in a regional area.
|Monash graduate, Ellen O'Connor says studying in a regional area offers a great work/life balance|
Ellen is one of 30 Monash University School of Rural Health medical students who have secured an internship at Bendigo Health next year.
She grew up on a farm at Dookie, near Shepparton. Her father manages the Dookie Agricultural College farm and her mother is a local midwife. Ellen loved science at secondary school and medicine was a natural extension of that.
"I had studied my first two years at Monash in Clayton when I found out about the School of Rural Health," Ellen said. "I jumped at the chance to study medicine in a rural area. It ticked all the boxes for me."
Ellen completed her third year at the SRH Bendigo, her fourth year at Mildura and Castlemaine, returning to Bendigo for two final year rotations - the first in general surgery and the second in emergency, both at Bendigo Health.
"It was after that first rotation in general surgery that I knew what I wanted to specialise in," Ellen said. "That opportunity cemented my decision."
Ellen believes studying in a regional area enhances a work-life balance.