Julie George - future graduate
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2023 recipient and 4th-year James Cook University medical student
Julie George’s passion for medicine stemmed from primary school when she saw the stark difference in healthcare between in Sydney and her home country of Sudan.
Julie’s parents had migrated to Australia before she was born but, struggling financially, returned to Sudan with their three small daughters to be closer to family.
They moved back to Sydney when Julie and her identical twin sister Jessica were in their last year of primary school. Their mother was undergoing medical treatment and Julie remembers being struck by the difference in healthcare systems.
“Going to Sudan, the hospitals there…I was just shocked,” Julie said after witnessing the health disparities that her Sudanese community faces in comparison to Australian communities.
“Even Medicare, I thought Medicare was crazy”
Julie’s experiences with doctors in Australia who ensure equities are reinforced and inequalities are addressed fostered her love of medicine.
Julie moved to James Cook University to complete a Bachelor of Science in the hope of getting into medicine in 2020 and worked hard to maintain a 7.0 grade point average while delivering Uber Eats and working other casual jobs. She and Jess were both accepted into medical school at JCU, and the realisation of the extra work required began to sink in.
“That was the happiest day of my mother’s life. I thought I was actually dreaming and it felt like things were really turning around. I thought I’d get into medicine and be chill, and I thought I could work and support my family. But medicine is really hard.”
She continued delivering Uber Eats and other casual jobs. A friend told her about the AMA Queensland Foundation. She applied, with no expectations.
“It was a great surprise. It gave me the confidence to be able to study and go to placements and support my family.”
She hopes to work in rural and under-resourced communities just like her own and has a passion for providing equitable health to marginalised communities.
“When I think about Sudan, I think how disadvantaged it is, and I get a bit upset knowing that in Australia there are so many communities that are also experiencing hardships that they shouldn’t be,” she says.
“Helping an understaffed community is my dream, being able to support people and being part of the change that helps improve access to healthcare for those communities.”