Visionary leader, highly respected teacher, healer, mentor, tireless advocate and champion of Rural Health, Dr Pat Farry was unmatched in his efforts and contribution to Rural Medicine and General Practice education. His vision of sustainable and quality health services for rural communities and small towns of New Zealand was through education. He devoted much of his career to advocating and lobbying for improvements and funding for rural medicine. The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust was established in March 2010, with the purpose of continuing this legacy. › Continue reading…

The most stressful, useful, and memorable day of my med school career

Somewhere deep in these woods are the patients we needed to locate and save

The pinnacle of my entire elective and possibly all of medical school for me was being the medical and transport director of a simulated mass casualty incident. This occurred on the last night of the wilderness first responder course during my wilderness medical elective. I really enjoy taking on leadership positions and this really pushed me to my limits.

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Wilderness Medicine in the land of the free, USA.

WMS Wilderness medicine staff and students 2018, Including Copper and Sophie the dogs

The third month of my elective was probably my favourite month of the entire of medical school. I first heard about the Wilderness Medicine Societies student elective in 2016 and knew from then on that I wanted to be a part of it. I have done a few weekend wilderness medicine courses before, during 3rd and 4th year so it fantastic to learn new things and reinforce previous knowledge and skills. I made sure I was 1st quarter elective so I would be able to participate in this course and applied for it the day applications opened. › Continue reading…

The Shetland Islands

For the second part of my elective, I was doing General Practice in Unst and Lerwick Health Centres in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.

Oscar Charlie, The Shetland Islands coastguard helicopter

For those that have no idea where the Shetland Islands are. They are 170km north of mainland Scotland. They are an archipelago of islands in the North Sea. The main industries are fishing, oil, agriculture and tourism. Medicine in Shetland is, like back home, based predominantly around general practice. There is one base hospital based in Lerwick. Gilbert Bain Hospital is a small secondary hospital with four surgical consultants and four medical consultants, a couple of anaesthetists and a handful of house officers. Along with the nurses and the allied health team, the whole hospital is run smoothly. The A and E department is run by house officers, one surgical and one medical who call in the on-call consultant based in the hospital if needed. › Continue reading…

Dental Surgery on the the Mobile Surgical Bus

13 teeth extracted from one 7-year-old boy. Photo taken with his mother's permission.

While I was traveling on the Mobile Surgical Bus a lot of the lists performed in the North Island were paediatric dental lists. These are children that have failed to have dental work done successfully in a normal dental clinic due to the difficulty of the procedure or inability of it to be performed on an awake child. These kids would, therefore, have their dental work done under general anaesthetic. Lists normally had about seven to ten children per day depending on the amount of time needed for each procedure. These children could be anywhere from two to 15 years old, most were normally in the four years to eight years’ age group. › Continue reading…

Mobile Surgical Services

Enjoying a sunny day with the Surgical Bus in Snells Beach

Mobile Surgical services, what a whirlwind way to tour New Zealand and get to assist in improving rural health care throughout rural NZ. This was the way I spent the first month of my elective. After a minor hitch with booking my time on the surgical bus everything was sorted for me to meet up with the mobile surgical bus in Queenstown on the 20th of November 2017, 2 weeks after sitting my final 5th-year exams, and 1 week after finding out I actually passed them. (WoooHooo!!!) I managed to get this amazing elective set up thorough MSS’s General Manager Mark Eager and their mastermind and Clinical Director Dr. Stu Gowland. › Continue reading…

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