Huon Valley News

Making a difference in rural health

Rural and remote health is at the heart of why Jaimi-lee Armstrong decided to study Medicine.

Jaimi-lee had been working for ten years in administration and IT, but she felt something was missing. Then, the sudden death of her mother when Jaimi-lee was 27, made her realise that life is short, and you’ve only got one chance at making your dreams come true.

“Mum passed away suddenly, which made me realise the importance of rural health. Being part of the community, building collaborative professional relationships with patients, and working with them to manage their health is the type of medicine I want to practice”.

Jaimi-lee aspires to become a rural GP within the Huon Valley. She recently spent time on placement at the Geeveston Medical Centre. She says her time there provided her with an “amazing hands-on experience and consolidated many areas of her learning”.

Jaimi-lee Armstrong talks to Council's Communications Team Leader Helene Thomas

With her roots in the Huon Valley, Jaimi-lee knows only too well the importance of rural doctors in the communities.

“I have a particular interest in Aboriginal Health. I’d like to focus on Closing the Gap. I’m also very interested in mainstream health issues, particularly cardiovascular health, and chronic disease management”.

Jaimi-lee was 30 when she began the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree. In 2020, she received the Greg Norris Memorial Health Scholarship for the first two years of her study, which she says helped immensely. She was able to stop working full-time and buy herself textbooks, among other useful medical items. She expressed her gratitude and honour to be a recipient of the scholarship.

Jaimi-Lee feels very supported by her family and is the first person in her family to study Medicine.

“Being a doctor was something I thought I’d never be able to do, not in my wildest dreams. But the real final push in this direction was the deterioration of my Mum’s health. It was either now or never, so I just made the bold step and applied.

“The degree has its challenges, but it’s very enriching, and at the end of my studies, I will get to make a real difference in people’s lives.”