Medical Student Bursary award

About the Medical Student Bursary award

The Rural Medical Student Bursary Award is awarded to a medical student who is a member of a rural health students' club at an Australian university who submits the best essay (maximum 1200 words) a rural and remote health topic.

Each essay nomination is judged on the following criteria:

  • demonstrated understanding of rural general practice;
  • demonstrated evidence of innovative thinking;
  • interest in a career in rural general practice;
  • a written statement outlining the ways in which the bursary would support professional development.

The Medical Student Bursary award includes:

  • registration to attend the College's annual conference
  • presentation of a commemorative trophy at the RACGP Rural annual member event.

Nominations for the 2022 Medical Student Bursary Award will open later in the year and we’ll post the details here. Contact for more information.

2021 winner

The 2021 Medical Student Bursary Award was presented to Sophie Witherspoon.

Sophie Witherspoon
Sophie Witherspoon

Third-year medical student Sophie Witherspoon has been awarded for her essay on how to attract and retain medical graduates in rural practice.

Studying through the University of Melbourne’s Extended Rural Cohort Program in Mansfield, Ms Witherspoon chose to write the essay because of the current relevance to rural and remote communities experiencing GP workforce shortages.

Past award recipients

2021 Sophie Witherspoon
2020 Jean-Baptiste Philibert

2019 Michael Au

2018 Jessica Paynter

2017 Wai Yee Yum

2016 Maave Barlow

2015 Maureen Krasnoff

2014 Michelle Seckington

2013 Stephanie Hopkins

2012 Thomas Boosey

2011 Sarah Devereux

2010 Sarah McPherson

2009 Anita Smith

2008 Brittany Turner

2007 Alina Harriss

2006 Nishari Wijewardena

2005 Joseph Turner

2004 Ken Liu


If you have any queries please contact RACGP Rural staff on

1800 636 764

Related documents

 RACGP Rural Awards Terms of Reference (PDF 201 KB)