Anita Milkovich has wanted to study medicine for as long as she can remember. As a child, Anita spent a fair amount of time in hospitals.
“Spending a decent amount of time in hospitals when I was little exposed me to the medical environment. This is where I was introduced to the wondrous people who understand the human body well enough to know how to make the sick feel better. That is all I ever wanted, to help relieve the pain and horrible feeling of being sick.”
Anita is currently studying medicine at Melbourne University. She has achieved a Bachelor of Science degree, completed a year of research to obtain an honours degree and even “dipped her toes into teaching”.
“Becoming a doctor has always been a dream, a dream that is now being realised with the help of Western Chances.”
Anita received her first Western Chances scholarship when she was in Year 11 in 2010 when she was nominated by her teacher as an exceptional dancer who wanted to open her own dance school. She was awarded funding to cover dance classes and dance equipment. Anita has been successful in having her scholarship renewed in 2011, 2012, 2013,2014,2015 and again in 2018 when she received funding to buy medical equipment and an iPad. She is still dancing and working her way towards becoming a qualified doctor.
“Applications, study programs, school supplies are not cheap and difficult to keep up with when you are financially disadvantaged. However, with this scholarship I was not only able to keep up with my studies, but reduce the pressures of money and enjoy not only my studies but my recreational activities such as dancing and volunteering at the Royal Children’s Hospital.”
With the support of Western Chances, Anita has the capacity to do voluntary work alongside her studies, which has given her exposure to a variety of health sector job functions.
“I’ve been volunteering at the Royal Children’s Hospital for 5 years now, my role varying throughout the years. I have helped play therapists on the wards, sat with children at bedsides, rocked babies to sleep, supported families, run activities for children in waiting rooms, run the hospital’s cinema and manned the desk of the family resource centre - just to name a few.”
As well as giving her time and skills, Anita has gained so much from volunteering, both professionally and personally.
“This experience has been highly rewarding and is a very important part of my routine. This also allows me to become more comfortable in a hospital setting. Even though in the long term it will not progress my career, I plan to keep volunteering for as long as possible. A little effort from me in this volunteer role makes all the difference to these families.”
Whilst studying, Anita loves to dance, play the drums, crochet and even play the occasional game of ice hockey. She takes part in a university dance club known as “Med Moves”.
“I participate in casual dance classes and often teach fellow students. I’ve taught ballet, jazz and contemporary dance and even took the lead in organising an interactive routine/class performed at a night market. This is a free club, all volunteer based, which allows us as students to recharge and step away from the books, taking care of not only our physical but our mental health.”
With the support of Western Chances and her university community, Anita has built an ideal balance of hard work and self care which is essential in the demanding career of medicine. Her dream of becoming a doctor is taking shape.
“The future is big and at the moment open to many possibilities. There are so many different avenues in medicine. My current plan is to go into paediatrics helping sick children and their families on a daily basis in a more health care directed fashion. I am also considering the possibility of spending some time in the future educating other medical students - teaching the future generation of doctors so that as a group we can give the best care possible to our communities.”
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