Catherine has travelled all over Queensland for her JCU placements, but there are a few in particular that she says were standouts.
Her final years of clinical placement at the Mackay Base Hospital were an amazing learning opportunity, Catherine says.
“We got a lot of hands-on time with the doctors at Mackay. The hospital was set up so there were more doctors and fewer students, giving us students a wonderful opportunity to learn,” she says.
“The other placement I loved was Mount Isa. It took a while to get there, but once I was there I loved it.
“Again, it was a case of fewer students and more doctors, so I got to practise a lot of hands-on medicine. We experienced that important one-on-one time and the opportunity to ask lots of questions.
“The hospital operated at a good pace so you could really take time to understand the patient as opposed to other very busy hospitals where you need to work quickly with the patient so you can attend to the next waiting patient.
“Placement is always the best because you get to do practical work we’ve been training for.”
Catherine even found time to take in some quintessential Mount Isa entertainment during placement.
“We watched the camel races; that was a lot of fun! I never would have thought camels would race each other at an event, I guess it was a real reminder of how unique the Outback is.
“Even to go along to the local rodeo was really interesting and fun, I’ve never gone to events like that before.”
A stint in Mount Isa as a practising doctor could be on the cards for Catherine down the track.
“Honestly, I’d be happy to move to Mount Isa and work in that community, but we’ll see, I’m in Townsville at the Townsville University Hospital (this) year.”