Student representative, RACGP Rural Council
Jean-Baptiste (commonly referred to as JB) is a third-year medical student at Western Sydney University. He developed a keen interest for other cultures through his early journey; born in France, moved onward to attend school in Africa and lived in several Australian states. After travelling to 40 countries and working in public service, his experiences led him to seek a purpose in life. Accepting a place in medicine lead to Jean-Baptiste starting his journey from the very bottom once more. His passion for rural and remote health was further ignited following several placements in Central Australia.
In 2021, he was elected Chair of the National Rural Health Student Network (NRHSN) that represents over 11,000 rural health students in 29 University rural health clubs. Jean-Baptiste has embraced the opportunities to give back to his community by facilitating first year medicine Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) and mentoring junior facilitators.
He is also an academic representative on several faculty committees, listed on the Dean’s merit list and a recipient of several scholarships, including the prestigious NSW Rural Resident Medical Officer Cadetship, the John Flynn Placement Program and the RACGP Rural Medical Student Award.
Find out more about Mr Jean-Baptiste Philibert below
I am starting my fourth year of Medicine at Western Sydney University in 2022. I am currently in Blacktown but will be moving to Bathurst for a year long placement, which I am really excited about!
I am a late comer to studying Medicine and worked in public service prior to this. Whilst it was really enjoyable I wanted a career that I could embrace fully and that would give me opportunities and flexibility to make my career my own. That’s why I applied for Medicine for the first time ever, sold my house and moved interstate and I have not regretted it since!
There are many aspects of General Practice that make it an attractive career. As a medical student, I have enjoyed by GP terms more than the hospital terms. I really enjoy the direct interactions you have with consultants and patients and the ability to make a real difference in people’s lives. It is also a career where you can a truly specialise in anything that is of interest to you. Things that I really care about are mental health, public health, and Indigenous health. General Practice would give me the opportunity to work in any or all of them!
I grew up rural, my family is rural, and we have always been a bit wary of the big cities! After first moving to Australia, I was unaware of how many opportunities there were in rural Australia, as most of the population does live in the same 5 or 6 cities. However, over time I was exposed to rural and remote Australia and rediscovered my roots. Pursuing a career in Medicine was the best opportunity to work and live rurally.
My John Flynn Placements in the NT have been truly memorable experiences that have shown me more about this country than 15 years living in it. I loved the ability to learn about many cultures, the remoteness, and self-reliance that everyone must have living and working out there. The sense of community present throughout.
Australia needs 50% of medical students to become GPs in order to sustain its population and the current model of General Practice. This is crucial to the delivery of healthcare in regional, rural and remote Australia. This is currently much lower. As Chair of the NRHSN and a member of the RACGP Rural council, I am ideally placed to advocate for rural careers amongst my peers as well as the broader health student body. Advocacy and visibility is an essential way of recruiting and retaining future workforce, therefore I am very grateful to be the student voice on the council and working with so many experienced rural GPs.
My journey is only beginning but I am very excited about all the opportunities to come!
Contact your RACGP Rural Council
racgp.org.au/rural | 1800 636 764 | email@example.com