Three students from the Eastern Eyre Peninsula are on their way to careers in medicine after receiving their doctor's certificate at the end of their medicine and surgery studies at university.
Tim Phillips of Cowell and Emily Humphries of Darke Peak both attended a pre-graduation ceremony at the University of Adelaide recently to mark the end of their six year degrees.
Lara Franklin of Cowell has also recently completed a medical degree in Perth.
Mr Phillips began a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in 2014 after attending Cowell Area School from Year 9 to 11 and finishing high school in Port Lincoln.
He said his experience growing up in a town which understood the importance of the local doctor was a major influence in his decision to pursue medicine.
"Growing up in small rural communities, I appreciated the importance of having a general practitioner in the town who was a highly respected community member and I hoped one day I could take on a similar role," Mr Phillips said.
"I loved growing up in small coastal communities and I would like to return to a similar area in the future."
In 2020 Mr Phillips will be undertaking an internship at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide which will include a 10 week stint in Port Lincoln.
Ms Humphries grew up in Darke Peak, attending Darke Peak Primary School and Cleve Area School before finishing her schooling in Adelaide.
Through her degree at the University of Adelaide she has undertaken a number of research projects, gaining first author publication on pelvic cancer surgery in the Australia New Zealand Journal of Surgery and giving a presentation on high risk breast cancer at an Australasian surgeons conference in Thailand earlier this year.
Ms Humphries will also spend time on the Eyre Peninsula during her 2020 internship with the Royal Adelaide Hospital as she undertakes a three month placement at Port Lincoln.
Mr Phillips said during his time at university he had noticed factors currently discouraging medical students from considering a career in rural and remote areas, particularly early in their career.
"Many people are discouraged from practicing in regional areas as they feel more isolated and less supported, especially as a junior medical professional," he said.
"I think people from a rural background are more likely to return to a rural area upon completion of their degree, and the continuation of rural entry pathways and support for rural students by the universities is critical."