The first afternoon of O-Week 2013 saw over two hundred enthusiastic first year MBBS students descend upon an ambient (read: stinking hot) lecture theatre to hear from some of the higher medical profiles in Australian society. This forum aimed to display to our most junior colleagues the wonderful, often neglected diversity available as a medical professional after graduating – not everyone needs to be a cardiothoracic surgeon (and with the advent and development of percutaneous valve repairs, maybe we won’t need too many…)! For nearly three hours, the lucky students benefited from the pearls of wisdom of (including, but not limited to):
- Professor John Murtagh – general practitioner extraordinaire, the man who has, quite literally, ‘written the book’ on general practice. Professor Murtagh emphasized the importance of having broadly trained GPs in rural areas, iterating the pivotal nature of being able to treat, or manage the symptoms of, a spectrum of conditions in the country.
- Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld – the Derek Shepherd of The Alfred – paediatric neurosurgeon, highest ranked medical officer in the army reserves, expert musician. This world renowned doctor spoke of maintaining extracurricular interests throughout one’s medical career, and of the inauspicious nature of sacrificing innate passions in order to devote extraneous time to one’s career.
- Dr Ranjana Srivastava – Monash graduate, media personality, full time mother and part time medical oncologist and general physician. Touched on the necessity of balancing commitment to family whilst dedicating sufficient time to ensure a prosperous career, as well as encouraging all budding female surgeons to pursue any career they feel an intrinsic pull towards, regardless of what may be perceived as a dissuading balance of male:female carpenters out there.
- Professor Mike Toole – Professor of Public Health at The Burnet Institute.
- Dr Ashleigh Witt – what is there to say about this blonde bombshell? Spoke fantastically about the progression through medical school, and embarrassed a poor kid who she had interviewed.
- Dr Sean Davies – provided a fascinating, engaging account of an intense surgical rotation in the notorius Bara hospital in South Afirca.
- Mr Harshan Jeyakumar – delivered a fine address, in true presidential style, about the top HJ tips to surviving medicine. Subliminally promoted Liverpool FC to all attending students, unfortunately none of them took the bait.
A fantastic and memorable afternoon was had by all, despite the sweltering conditions. Fortunately, many students were able to dismiss all thoughts of career pursuit the following night on MedCruise.
Daniel M Wein
MUMUS Academic Representative
MBBS II 2013