Natasha Abeysekera is in her fifth and final year of the Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery. By the end of 2019, all going well, Natasha will officially be Dr Abeysekera.

“It’s a strange experience when you hear yourself called doctor for the first time,” Natasha said.

“There’s excitement but also slight apprehension to be finally working in a career that you’ve worked hard to achieve.”

Natasha’s family emigrated from Sri Lanka to Brisbane when she was just a year old.

“They emigrated to give us more opportunities. My dad is a marine engineer and my mum an accountant and they both value education.”

“I was hospitalised as a child and this had an influence on my decision to study medicine, but I’d also been really interested at school in science and health.”

At age 18, Natasha enrolled in the University of Tasmania Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery program. It meant Natasha was living, for the first time, away from family; almost two-and-a-half thousand kilometres from home.

“I actually had friends ask if I needed a passport to live in Tasmania!

“Hobart is an up-and-coming destination. There’s amazing hiking and surfing in Tasmania, and a great food culture and arts scene. It can be hard leaving home, and this is where the University of Tasmania is amazing.

The staff and lecturers are so supportive. If they know you’re not from Hobart, they really look out for you to see if you’re doing OK.

“My mum was terrified as I was the first child to move out, so it’s great for her to know I’m being looked after.”

The University has strong links with medicine in Tasmania, providing students opportunities for valuable first-hand contact with industry professionals.

“Many of the lecturers are clinicians at the local hospitals, so they have a vested interest and they want us all to receive the best education and experience possible.

“I’ve had great opportunities because of the University’s connections, including the ability to be involved in renal genetic projects in Tasmania and I’ve presented at a number of conferences including the World Congress of Nephrology in Melbourne in April 2019.”

Six months from graduation, Natasha is relishing in the opportunities that university has provided her and is keen to pursue her interest in tackling global climate-related health challenges.

“Going to university in Tasmania has been an incredible journey.”

Interested in studying the Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery? Apply now.