Julia and her cohort will graduate at the end of 2024 and with the bulk of her medical degree now complete, she reflects on her placements, what she’s learned so far, and what’s in store for 2024, her final year.
“It was two General Practice placements that stand out as key learning experiences,” Julia says.
“I’ve definitely seen a lot so far. My very first GP placement in first year stands out because I was still very queasy about certain medical procedures,” she says.
“But in that two-week placement I went from nearly fainting when witnessing a procedure to actually participating in the procedures, with assistance, obviously.
“That was a real moment for me, when I realised I can do this.”
From the reading to reality
Her GP placement this year, at Health and Wellbeing North Ward, saw Julia take on extra responsibilities as a fifth-year student.
“This year I’ve learned so much. I was able to see patients independently, I was able to talk to the patients about what I believed was appropriate management for their conditions. It finally felt like I was a doctor.”
Julia has also spent several weeks on placement at the Townsville University Hospital, rotating through the medical wards.
“I have been absolutely loving my placements as a fifth year. I am enjoying being part of the team and immersing myself in patient care. I’ve especially loved being able to spend extra time with patients and learning about them, which then helps inform our management.
Julia says a particular highlight has been seeing the range of specialties available within medicine.
“Although I am figuring out which areas I won't pursue, I am still interested, and eager to learn and understand the power of multidisciplinary teamwork,” she says.
“I particularly enjoyed my time with the renal team (at the Townsville Hospital) as my mother, a renal nurse, taught me so much and inspired a love for nephrology within me. It was also lovely to work with the team she used to work with.
“This year it’s been almost 100 per cent placement, which is good because now I am learning while on the job.
“We will be extending on what we’ve learned this year, so I’ll do my rural placement and I’ll also do my elective next year, which will be medical oncology and radiation oncology. We haven’t been exposed to a lot of oncology so I’m looking forward to that learning curve.”