Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I just sent in my papers for a fairly significant scholarship. This scholarship will mean an end to my poor-student status and allow me to stop worrying about sourcing funds for expenses such as electives, rent, textbooks, food and new socks. I should be euphoric. But intermingled with feelings of relief and hopeful anticipation, is a deep-seated resentment towards the organisation.

Applying for this scholarship ranks as one of the hardest things I have done in medical school.

The online application, which I completed just before applications closed, was a true test of a student’s ability to decipher unnecessarily overcomplicated jargon (and not even medical jargon). In the end I gave up and skim-read all of the questions before hastily adding my responses.

I was pretty excited to hear that I’d been awarded the scholarship “conditionally”, as all I had to do was provide a few supporting documents and sign a statutory declaration form. Easy.

Then I looked at the list of documents.
  • A letter from the university (sounds simple unless you’ve met our coordinator).
  • Copy of my birth certificate
  • Centrelink income statement
Not too hard to find ... I kept scrolling down the list
  • Tax office notice of assessment from 2008-09, and 2009-10
  • Statement from an employer to prove I’ve been employed in a rural area
  • Membership card from a rural sporting club
Do they really need to know all of this??

I spent an agonising 20 minutes with the poor pharmacist who’d agreed to certify all of my documents, carefully checking and double-checking that we had everything on the list before I sent it off with all of my hopes and dreams.

And then I spent a good 20 minutes Google searching the organisation to make sure they weren’t just trying to steal my identity.


peace said...

So what happened?

Pink Stethoscopes said...

It all turned out ok in the end, the scholarship made a massive difference and allowed me to take on some really great electives in final year. And (as far as I know) they didn't steal my identity.