It was on one of her placements for her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery that Sarah Cowan discovered her passion for rural health.
"Aside from the excellent reputation of the University of Auckland and the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, I was lucky enough to be awarded the University of Auckland Top Achiever Scholarship to study here. Coming from Hawkes Bay it was a bit daunting moving to the 'Big smoke' but the University halls made this transition significantly easier and provided an incredible platform for meeting new friends. So good – I went back for a second go as a Residential Advisor!
"I am glad I made the decision to move here and I cannot imagine having studied elsewhere. It is an incredible place to learn. We have access to world-class researchers as our lecturers and the clinical placements we do provide a special insight into how the health care system in New Zealand works. This will be vital to working as a doctor after graduation.
I think the special part of studying here is the clinical placements where we have the opportunity to put our theoretical knowledge into practice while meeting people from all walks of life.
"My fifth year was spent completing the rural regional programme in Taranaki, where I discovered my passion for working in regional New Zealand! I also made sure to join Grassroots, which is the University’s rural health club. I was President of the club during 2017 and am now a part of the executive team developing SoRHA (Students of Rural Health Aotearoa).
"My international elective in Samoa with the General Surgery Department for ten weeks was one of the highlights of medical school. It was an amazing experience. I learnt a huge amount about myself as well as a culture different to my own. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and I had the time of my life!
"I am a Trainee Intern at Tauranga Hospital, which is my last year of Medical School. On reflection, a few weeks out from graduation, I will treasure the learning and opportunities of completing an MBChB at the University of Auckland."