"You need to really be a people person, because medicine is about treating people. So it’s really important to be a good storyteller and I think that’s one of the advantages of a lot of Aboriginal people, is that we can tell stories and listen to stories and repeat those stories.
My name is Sarah McEwan and I work at Hedland Health Campus. I’m a doctor and I’m a General Practitioner, so I do all sorts of different things from delivering babies to working in emergency and looking after people with all sorts of conditions so it’s very exciting.
I feel like I’m actually having an impact, being on the ground and seeing patients on a daily basis. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to get into health, is to try and improve the health outcomes of our mob and I’m doing that.
Around Year 11 and 12, you have to make a decision about which kind of path you’re going to take. It wasn’t until I went to a careers market that was held close to where my school is that they had a stall there which was talking about medicine, and there was some Indigenous faces there, so I thought I would just go up and introduce myself, and basically we just got talking, and I became aware of the Indigenous entry program through Newcastle Uni.
It is an entry program that doesn’t require you to be the top of your class. You don’t have to be the smartest person around to actually do medicine, as long as you’re passionate and have commitment. It also provides opportunity for people like myself, who grew up in country areas and didn’t have access to things some of the city kids would have had.
There is financial support in terms of ABSTUDY, there are lots of scholarships available. Certainly the last three years of my university degree, I had some scholarships which were really, really handy.
Working hours are difficult at times, but they’re rewarding in terms of what you get out at the end of it. Certainly the wage is rewarding, and the ability to treat your family is rewarding. The ability to look after your community is certainly rewarding.
You can work all over Australia, all over the world, and I don’t think my parents have stopped talking about the fact that their daughter is a doctor."
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