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A passion for rural healthcare sees Darcy trade the city life for a regional setting

Published:09 May 2022

Darcy Barlow

Darcy Barlow

Among the thousands of university students who started their medical studies this year in major cities, Darcy Barlow said studying medicine in a regional setting was something he could not pass up.

Sydney born and bred, Mr Barlow is studying a Bachelor of Medical Science (Pathway to Medicine) with CQUniversity in Bundaberg, but he said the decision to move away from his hometown was not an easy one to make. 

"I have lived in Sydney my whole life. It was hard to leave my family, friends, and everything I’ve really known to this date,” he expressed.

“But at the end of the day, the opportunity provided by CQU’s new degree to study medicine in a regional area was something I simply couldn’t pass up.”

While travelling around Australia, Mr Barlow said he became aware of the healthcare inequalities experienced by regional communities.

“I find it socially unjust that an individual’s health is determined to a great extent by their location, and that on average, the more rural an individual is, the lesser their health status will be,” he said. 

“It’s this disparity, as well as the difference between the health status of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians, that has made regional areas so appealing to me. 

“I aim to ensure that communities across Australia can experience the same benefits of healthcare. I think tackling these issues is going to require a holistic understanding of health and the region itself, which is why I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to take part in this regional course so I can build those skills for the future.”

As Mr Barlow settles into university life, he said his studies have so far been both intense and refreshing.

"The increased workload and complexity of some units have been a welcome challenge,” he commented. 

“What I have loved most has been the academic community I’ve become a part of. It’s been awesome to make new connections and relationships with people from across the university as we all help one another learn and grow. 

“On top of that, Bundy itself is an amazing area to live in.”

While the move from Sydney to Bundaberg could be considered atypical to some, for Mr Barlow getting away from the city life and being a part of a regional medical course is something he has loved. 

“I feel honoured to be a part of the new regional medical course and the collective effort to alleviate the health issues faced in regional Queensland,” Mr Barlow expressed.

“It is setting myself and my peers up for a successful career within regional healthcare where we can focus on creating change in the equality of health outcomes across Australia.”