Experience the difference – Go Rural!

By Dr Fiona McKinnon
Intern ambassador for Health Workforce Queensland

Fiona McKinnon on placement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service

Fiona McKinnon on placement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service

I’ve been super lucky in my life, or is it more a case that the harder I work, the luckier I get? My Grandparents had oyster banks off Stradbroke Island. I spent a lot of time there as a child before school and for a large part of grade one. They lived on a boat between Bulimba (our place) and Dunwich. Later they bought a property in Redland Bay that only had dam water and a thunder box. This freedom of childhood was a wonderful introduction to the glories of rurality. I have fond memories of playing in boats and shucking oysters, riding horses, shooting, fishing, crabbing, and yabbying. My other Grandfather was a pilot and would land on the beach at Fraser Island for a joyous afternoon of fishing. Since I’ve had control of my own destiny, the adventures have continued. My luckiest event to date was working for Dr Ewen McPhee in Emerald. What a legend, what an inspiration. Continue reading

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Roos in the paddock and patients aplenty

By Dr Claire Hepper,
GP in Creswick, Victoria

“So Claire, busy day today?” the fifth patient of the day asks. Given it is 9.15am and the phone is running hot, I nearly say yes.

Instead I reply: “You know me Bill, can’t work too hard – people might get used to it.” This good-natured sally gets more laughs than it deserves but it is what Bill and the rest of the waiting room were hoping to hear.

It is a tricky question. Although I work in a multi-GP clinic with an appointment system, Continue reading

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A rural career takes off

By Dr Gerry Considine
GP Registrar, South Australia

I grew up in a small town in Victoria…it’s called Melbourne. To be more specific, my formative years were spent in an outer suburb called Croydon. Having not got the super marks needed for medicine straight out of school, I completed an undergraduate degree in biomedical science. During my honours year in cellular immunology, I realised that spending all day working in a laboratory wasn’t for me. Continue reading

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What are you waiting for? Go Rural!

Dr Bullock with her children in their hometown of Canowindra, near Cowra

By Dr Ros Bullock,
GP at Cowra, New South Wales

Choose your own adventure … I used to love these books as a kid. After the scene was set, the characters were placed into a decision point and, you, the reader, could decide for them. If you thought they should enter the cave, you were directed to page 52; if you thought they should go over the hill, then turn to page 36 … and so on. Whatever your decision, it was different and fun.

Working in rural medicine is very much like a choose your own adventure story. So if you are keen and willing, and there is appropriate training out there, you can do it! Continue reading

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Territory health – what a blast

Marcus Hall literally gets connected to rural health at the RFDS in Alice Springs

By Marcus Hall, second year medicine, Monash University

It was the third day of our Go Rural “City to Centre” trip and I was excited about what lay ahead. We headed off early to Santa Teresa, an Indigenous community about 80km from Alice Springs. Upon arriving at the local health clinic we soon realised this place was quite special and had a bunch more facilities than any other we’d visited.

I found it very interesting to see the contrast between the health facilities at Santa Teresa and Hermannsburg, which has a larger population by about 200 people. From talking to the Santa Teresa health practitioners it became apparent that distance from a regional centre, such Continue reading

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To dear Alice – and Hermannsburg, too

Jillian McCool in Central Australia, during her Go Rural visit

By Jillian McCool, Flinders University medical student

And so it begins … with weary heads but a great sense of excitement, Emily and I made our first FB check-in at Darwin Airport: “embarking on a desert adventure!” I’d heard so much about Alice Springs that I couldn’t wait to get amongst it and experience it for myself.

On arriving in Alice, we were both surprised how dry the heat was compared to Darwin. In the Continue reading

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Reflections on the Red Centre

Jamie Cham at Hermannsburg during Go Rural

By Jamie Cham, third year medicine UNSW

I had no idea what to expect from the Go Rural “City to Centre” trip to Alice Springs and beyond. But on day one I’m already confident that it’s going to be an amazing experience. Meeting one of my fellow med students, Michael, at Sydney airport started everything off well; he greeted me enthusiastically and changed seats so we could sit together on the flight to Central Australia.

Looking out the window over the outback, it was red. Very red. But as we landed and drove around, it surprised me how much life can sustain Continue reading

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Ears, pies … and pus without boots

Dr Aaron Hollins, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland

Working in a rural town means you end up doing a lot more than you might in an urban setting. It also means you end up seeing things that you may not encounter in a city clinic. I routinely look in people’s ears – this is part of the health check process, but I also recommend it for routine visits.

It is amazing what you find. I remember working one day in Normanton, northwest Queensland, syringing an old fella’s ears out after he fell asleep on a meat pie. I was not syringing the offal from Continue reading

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