Illawarra duo share university accolade

Both 25 years old, both graduating with distinction, both headed for internships at Wollongong Hospital next year and both Illawarra women - it seemed only fitting that Elise Perger and Hannah Walker should share their university medal.

The high-achieving pair were awarded the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health medal at the University of Wollongong yesterday in a rare case of the accolade being shared.

Ms Walker, of Keiraville, said the medal was a welcome reward after years of serious study workload.

"I don't think I really had a weekend off until the exams were finished," she said.

The pair will spend next year working in close contact at Wollongong Hospital, but from there, their paths will likely diverge.

Ms Perger, of North Wollongong, hopes to become a general practitioner, while Ms Walker is planning to work in paediatrics.

"I love kids and I would find it really rewarding," Ms Walker said.

"It's probably one of the few areas where [when] your patient is better, they run out of the hospital and hopefully don't see you again."

Both women graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery yesterday, having completed undergraduate degrees in science in Ms Perger's case and health science in Ms Walker's case.

Ms Perger said she hoped the added gloss of the medal would help her stand out as she set out on a career path.

"It will help us get to where we need in our careers," she said.

See Wednesday's Mercury for the UOW's Tuesday graduations

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