Induction

10:30am is not a bad start for my first day of elective. After struggling a little to shake off the jet lag, I got ready and took the 45-minute bus ride to the RBWH. The hospital itself is enormous. I found myself walking in circles for a couple of minutes before figuring out exactly where I was. Eventually, I found the Health Sciences building which is where I was meeting the student coordinator. She gave me a tour around the education centre and took me round to see where I would be spending most my time whilst I am here. I am going to predict that I am bound to get lost pretty much every day here…

Whilst walking around the hospital, I managed to get a sense of how different medical schools are in Queensland when comparing it to the United Kingdom. Entry into medicine is mainly carried out by undertaking an undergraduate course initially. After finishing this degree, you sit a GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test) and the score you receive in this test is used when applying to medical school. Once you get in, the degree lasts four years. Once this is complete, you undertake two years of prevocational training (which is like working for 2 years as a foundation doctor in the UK). Once this is complete, they continue to work for 2/3 years as a resident medical officer before starting their specialist training. Some universities across Australia offer undergraduate courses but in Queensland it is mainly through graduate entry so I am not sure what the process is like for undergraduate entry.

Interesting fact of the day: I was walking around the hospital with the student coordinator and I crossed the road as there were no cars on either side of the road. The student coordinator jokingly gasped and said that I was cheeky for crossing the road when the light is still red. Little did I know that you can get fined for doing this…

I finished early today. However, the joy of that is short-lived as I have 8am starts most days, excluding the days when I am due to be in birth suites as I need to get to the hospital at 6:30am… I can’t complain too much because I have the afternoon off on most days and my Fridays are free. Nonetheless, I have a feeling that most of my time in Australia is going to be spent on the bus getting to and from placement.

So, my general impressions of the hospital so far is good. It is the biggest women’s hospital in the state of Queensland and they see a lot of varied cases which I would not have been exposed to in the UK. Tomorrow, I am timetabled to attend the obstetrics review in the morning and meet with my clinical supervisor in the afternoon for a case study session.

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