• Reporter Elaina John

Bursary Awarded To U of A Student And Marwayne Local

Evan Whitfield. Photo submitted

Marwayne local Evan Whitfield was awarded a bursary from the Vermilion and Area Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee. The committee is enthusiastic, as this is the first bursary it has awarded.

“We started to look at ways of encouraging local med students,” Mayor Caroline McAuley explained. It’s a $20,000 bursary with an additional $5,000 awarded annually throughout Whitfield’s schooling.

Whitfield is going into his second year of the University of Alberta’s M.D. and Faculty of Medicine on August 25th. He will be taking an extra year in the Enhanced Skills program with a focus on surgery or anesthesiology, and he has had the opportunity to job shadow under Vermilion’s Dr. Leibenberg over the summer.

“I’m very excited to be receiving a bursary,” Whitfield said. However, rather than for the financial aspect, Whitfield is more excited about the opportunity the bursary gives him to work with the town in addressing the community’s needs.

Once Whitfield completes his studies, he is offered a job in Vermilion to practice medicine. Whitfield is looking forward to returning to a smaller community.

“I’m a small town boy and I always will be,” Whitfield stated, “Small towns have a lot of benefits, and I find the community is a lot more tight-knit.”

Whitfield always planned on returning to the small town lifestyle sometime after completing his education, but receiving the offer from the town helped solidify his timeline.

At the earliest, depending on schooling and residency opportunities, Whitfield will return to practice medicine in Vermilion in 2024.

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