Eleven third year University of Queensland medical students spent a week in Emerald as part of their orientation to clinical practice.
Eleven third year University of Queensland medical students spent a week in Emerald as part of their orientation to clinical practice.

Medical student inspired by Emerald practitioner

EMERALD medical practitioners have inspired a 23-year-old Sydney student to pursue a career in a rural town.

Michaela was unsure about the direction of her future career but after a trip to Emerald she said she had been inspired and challenged about rural generalist practice in both hospital and community settings.

“In a rural community you get to become much more important to your patients and this added responsibility means that you have to be at the top of your game”, she said.

“From talking to the local doctors and feeling so welcomed by the community, I believe that community involvement in rural practice is crucial to success.”

Michaela was one of 66 medical students who learned about rural medicine in Central Queensland this week.

Eleven medical students spent a week working with Emerald Medical Group and Emerald Hospital.
Eleven medical students spent a week working with Emerald Medical Group and Emerald Hospital.

Eleven third year medical students were hosted by Emerald Medical Group and Emerald Hospital with opportunities to practice clinical skills with real country doctors

Clinical Education Coordinator for the Emerald Medical Group, Wendy McPhee, said she was thrilled to see how enthusiastic the University of Queensland students were.

“They bring a sense of optimism and enthusiasm about improving the health and wellbeing of rural and remote people,” she said.

General Practitioner Dr Gulya Sidari described the students as being “inspiring for their thirst for knowledge and their keenness to apply their learning”.

The group participated in a range of sessions via videoconference which was followed by more practical skills and hands on learning.

Some of the topics covered were performing excisions and suturing wounds, ultrasound uses and applications, Electro Cardiogram interpretation, Venepuncture, trauma and airways, cardiac arrest scenario, plastering, rural mental health and Aboriginal health awareness.

Eleven students learnt from Emerald medical practitioners.
Eleven students learnt from Emerald medical practitioners.

Local staff were involved in every session.

When asked about what they enjoyed most through the week, this is what the students said:

Michaela: It was amazing to learn practical skills in a limited resource rural environment so we can be better clinicians wherever we are.

Daniel: I am really excited about coming back to Emerald for my placement in six weeks!

Paddy: We brought the rain!

Alex: It was great to be invited in and included into the medical community as well as the general community while we were here. We felt really welcomed

Aaron: I am much more likely to come back and work in Emerald as a result of this experience.

Central Highlands Healthcare CEO Michael Bishop said the more positive opportunities that developing health professionals have in rural communities, the more likely they were to feel comfortable to move here and live here.

“From all the reports we received, the students had a great time both professionally and personally,” he said.

“We ensure that there is an opportunity for the group to work, learn and socialise with our community.”