Archive for 'News'

Annabel Merrett

Fair Saturday

“Cured yesterday of my disease, I died last night of my physician” – Matthew Prior, The Remedy Worse Than the Disease (1714).

Buongiorno from Italy!

After finishing the hard slog of 5th-year exams, and the relief that came with passing, I was ready to throw myself into learning the culture and health system of Italy whilst improving my radio diagnostic skills. Italy is known to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranked it second in the world behind France for overall efficiency in a report published in 2000. In contrastPeru (my second elective placement) is ranked 129th. (For interest New Zealand is 41st, unfortunately losing to Australia by 9 places). I was curious to experience first-hand the efficiency of an Italian hospital. › Continue reading…

Annelise Brown and Annabel Merrett, fifth-year medical students at the University of Otago School of Medicine, have been announced as the 2018/2019 recipients of the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship by Sue Farry on behalf of the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust’s trustees.

The scholarships are worth a total of $10,000 and will assist the students with costs associated with undertaking trainee intern electives in innovative and challenging overseas situations next year. Annabel Merrett, from Nelson, will travel to Pisa, Italy and then to Peru, while Annelise Brown, from Christchurch, will travel to Guatemala.

“The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust’s vision is for our work and the experiences that these medical students gain on their electives to ultimately contribute to the quality of rural health services in all regions of New Zealand,” said Mrs. Farry. › Continue reading…

The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust has announced application details for its Travelling Scholarship for 2018/2019. The annual Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship awards up to $10,000.00, which may be divided between two recipients. The scholarship assists medical students to travel internationally to a rural situation to observe new concepts, develop their own skills and share their learning with other students when they return.

2017/2018 Traveling Scholarship recipients Mark Owen-Cooper and Tash Austin

“Scholarships offered by the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust assist young people to spend valuable time in innovative and challenging overseas situations, to return, and to become the new idea generators here in New Zealand,” said Mr John Farry, Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Chairman.

General Practitioner Dr Pat Farry was a tireless advocate and champion of rural health before he passed away in 2009. He devoted much of his career to advocating and lobbying for improvements and funding for rural medicine as well as mentoring and teaching rural healthcare professionals. › Continue reading…

Tom and Meagaidh from Search & Rescue

Before I arrived at the Belford it had been joked that in summer the hospital was full of mountain bikers and in winter skiers and snowboarders. This was to prove very true. Although there was still snow on the mountain tops the summer sports were well underway. Mountain bike accidents were right up there with the top admissions and broken vertebrae seemed to be a favourite. I saw neck, back and pelvis injuries as well as very impressive bruising covering one patients entire back. The worst cases were stabilised and sent to the bigger hospitals in Inverness or Glasgow. Most patients were tourists to the area and often transfers could be arranged back to local hospitals or spinal units closer to home in other parts of the UK.

› Continue reading…

Welcome to Main Street, Fort William!

After a quick flight, which served to remind me just how quick and easy travelling in Europe is, I had landed in Scotland. My next placement was at the Belford Hospital in Fort William and getting there was a delight. I passed a scenic afternoon on the train traveling through golden hill ranges and past tiny stations seemingly used only by hikers stepping out to the trails, before arriving at the small but charming town that was to be my home for the next placement. Fort William has a population of around 10,000 but brings in many more visitors through its well-deserved title of ‘’Outdoor Capital of the UK”. The town nestles at the base of the Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. At 1350m it’s on the smaller side by NZ standards but is known to be covered in snow on the tops for most of the year and thus can be a technical climb. In the summer months the area is inundated by walkers and mountain bikers then the winter sees an influx of people for various snow sports. The popular West-Highland Way trail from Glasgow ends here and the mountain biking downhill world champs are held in the area.

› Continue reading…

Tash Austin

The other end of the spectrum..

The huge Mater Dei Hospital

Having gotten my feet wet in the small rural hospital of Santo, Vanuatu it was time to turn to the opposite end of the spectrum. Mater Dei is a huge 900 bed Hospital located in the main city of Malta, Msida. I applied here because I wanted to contrast what I was seeing in my two rural hospital placements and see a large range of patient presentations in the time I had available. And what an experience it was!

› Continue reading…

Tash Austin

Oh and Gee!!

A further two beds in the delivery suite

Oh and Gee, are perhaps the politer words to describe what I was often thinking during my rotation in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at NDH. The staff are extremely hardworking and do their best with the resources available, but it was a far cry from services available in New Zealand. › Continue reading…

Tash Austin

An Intro to Island Time

The entrance to the Emergency Department

Arriving on the beautiful island of Santo Espiritu in Northern Vanuatu I was ready to hit the ground running and submerge myself in my first elective placement. I could already tell by the flight over the island that I was in for an interesting month here. The buildings were mostly concrete block with tin or palm roofs and the main centre of Luganville was tiny (even by New Zealand standards). The main industries on the island seem to be farming, fishing and tourism with the former two grinding to a halt for the latter when the cruise ships arrive in port.

› Continue reading…

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.

› Continue reading…

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…

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