A combination of factors led Harman to pursue a career in medicine. Exposure to the Indian healthcare system during his childhood, and observing how it managed a sick family member, planted a seed in Harman’s mind to become a doctor and provide more accessible care.
Harman moved to Australia when he was 10, and during high school he completed work experience at different healthcare services, such as hospitals, GP clinics, and even a dialysis centre.
“These early experiences in rural, remote, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assisted me in deciding to become a health professional, with JCU being my first option,” Harman says.
“I applied for medicine at JCU because of the emphasis on rural, remote, and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health. I started in medical school with the intent of returning to and providing care to small communities. I am glad I am staying true to this as I am going to the Royal Darwin Hospital for an internship next year.”
Harman chose to undertake Honours in the final two years of his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.
His research project delved into the role of interleukins (a group of cellular messenger molecules), in diagnosing diabetic foot osteomyelitis.
“The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is increasing worldwide; consequently, the risk of foot ulcers and osteomyelitis increases. My project looked at determining simple blood tests that can diagnose diabetic foot osteomyelitis and reduce the need for expensive imaging that cannot be performed in resource-limited settings,” he said.
“Through Honours, I have not only learnt key research techniques and developed data analysis skills, I also established a good network with other academics and researchers. Moreover, getting a few publications out of my Honours research has also been very rewarding.”
A pathway available to JCU students is to pursue Honours over year 6 and their intern year (or any time up to postgraduate year 5). Alternatively, once a medical student has completed the first three years of the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree a one-year Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) is also available. With this option, JCU MBBS students can take one year out of the degree to undertake a full-time research project before re-joining the MBBS.
We love to showcase the placement experiences of our students, like Harman. If you are a JCU Medicine, Dentistry or Pharmacy student and would like to share your placement experience, please contact us.