Breanne Gordulic from Carseland, currently studying medicine at the University of Calgary, is one of four recipients of the 2022 Rural Health Professionals Action Plan (RhPAP) Rural Medical School Awards.
The award is effectively a $5,000 scholarship, awarded to four students of medicine annually who have expressed interest in practicing medicine in rural areas.
“It basically covers anything you need, like tuition, transportation (and) any kind of school supplies. Some of the criteria for winning the award were the intention to help out in a rural community and (evaluating) your interest in rural medicine,” said Gordulic. “It’s pretty amazing and super motivating. Commuting back and forth from school can be tough sometimes because I still do live out here, I never moved to Calgary for school so it helps out with things like that.”
Gordulic elected to utilize the award money to help cover the costs of her tuition, which, as any graduate of post-secondary education will attest, is not cheap.
“Tuition for medical school is very expensive and it really does help because right now I’m not working. It’s not really a great idea for me to work while in school. It really helps relieve that little bit of the financial stress,” said Gordulic, who explained that her decision to go into medicine was a longstanding goal, as her parents were both pharmacists prior to their retirement.
Gordulic added her drive to practice in a rural community is to make an impact for those who might otherwise have to travel to a major city for medical care, similar to herself.
“I actually did not go straight into medicine, I had a whole career before this and worked in oil and gas. How I made my switch, I ended up moving out here rurally and had a hard time finding a doctor for myself,” said Gordulic. “That includes a family doctor and a specialist, so that kind of got into my head … if I decided to go into medicine, I can make an impact in my community.”
Gordulic continues to reside in Carseland as she attends classes at the University of Calgary and has expressed interest in practicing specifically in town as opposed to another rural community post graduation.
“If I have trouble finding medical care, I can’t imagine what anyone who has any number of barriers, the struggle, they must feel trying to get proper care,” she said.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times