It's hard to imagine a tougher year for a student doctor to graduate than 2020.
But despite the pandemic, Tamworth's newest crop of junior doctors did just that this week.
Of 40 set to leave the Peel Clinical School to become junior medical doctors in 2021, about half are staying in the city.
Clinical Dean Dr Lauren Cone said the pandemic had added "unexpected challenges" in the students' fifth and final year.
"It's been an incredibly difficult year just for the unexpected challenges," she said. "It's always a tough year, your final year. But these guys have had so many things thrown at them and they have just been incredible. They've taken every challenge, they've just risen to the occasion so beautifully."
The university students were called up in April to be "backstop medical workers" in case of a COVID-19 outbreak among hospital staff.
"That's a huge ask of people in their final year of studies, and they just took it on board and rose to the occasion."
Tamworth-born Isabella Eveleigh, who studied at the University of Melbourne, is set to return to the city next year.
There's a portrait of her grandad Dr Stephen Richardson at the Tamworth hospital. She got a photo with it during her placement there in March.
She said she'd love to get her own photo up on the wall there one day.
Kiwi Matthew Baker is set to move to Tamworth from New Zealand.
"Obviously it's been a pretty adverse year in the health sector," he said.
"But being a student in Tamworth and the opportunities that come and meeting all of the doctors at the hospital was what attracted me."