For both Jack and Kaylee, a drawcard for attending the conference was the networking opportunities with fellow Med students and clinicians across the training continuum.
"It was great to to hear from experienced clinicians across a range of specialties,” Jack says. "It was also great from a social perspective. You’re meeting people who you’re potentially going to be working alongside as doctors in the future. It’s good to be building those connections and staying in contact with students from a range of backgrounds and different universities.”
New clinical skills add to pre-internship preparation
As Jack and Kaylee prepare to graduate and head off for internships, the Summit provided an opportunity to learn new skills and hone existing ones. “The best workshop was the one that covered how ultrasound works. We went through fast scans and echocardiograms and had the opportunity to practice with each other,” Jack says. He adds that the most beneficial sessions for him were the ones that discussed healthcare in the Northern Territory, where clinicians shared their experiences with the training pathways they had taken.
“From a clinical side of things, I enjoyed the helicopter and car crash simulations,” Kaylee says. “CareFlight took us through a simulation of extricating someone from a vehicle. They gave us some exposure to the many considerations in those situations—like how tightly packed in you are in the helicopter!”
Plans for 2024
With graduation just two months away, Jack and Kaylee both have a good idea of where 2024 will take them, but both are keeping their options open beyond their internship year. The Rural Health Summit helped reinforce both the heightened need for healthcare in underserved rural communities, but also the many training, career and lifestyle opportunities in these areas.
“I’m quite interested in rural health, and I’m definitely looking at the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) or Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) pathways into rural generalism,” Jack says. “It’s great to get more exposure to that area and ask a few more questions of the GP College reps at the Summit.”
Staying home in North Queensland
Jack is a Far North Queenslander, born and raised on the Atherton Tablelands. He says he is keen to spread his wings and work out where his passions in medicine lie. But he knows there’s a good chance his path will take him back to North Queensland.
“I might be heading down south for internship, but I can definitely see myself coming back up to the North. I love the weather and the lifestyle,” Jack says. “It’s great that you can do at least some of your training in North Queensland across many different specialties.”
Kaylee adds that she always had an interest in rural and remote health. “It is a part of the reason why I did a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at JCU before getting into medicine,” she says.
“When I went back to do Medicine, I knew JCU was the place to do it, because of that focus on rural and remote health. Being a former physio, I’ve always been interested in orthopaedics. Now as I go through Medicine, I’ve realised that work-life balance is very important to me. A pathway like rural generalist or GP is becoming more and more attractive to me.”