O-Week & Medcamp Conveners’ Report

MUMUS O-Week 2013 was a huge success, with all the usual fun events like the MUKEG Scavenger Hunt and MedFest, as well as a few new ones – MedCruise and an outing to BOUNCEinc! The week kicked off with countless eager first years making their way to the MUMUS stall at the Host Scheme Carnival; many walked away happy with their new Monash Med jumpers and tickets to the upcoming MedCruise. Futures Forum later in the day had an amazing turn out of over 190 students, completely overfilling the lecture theatre, with some having to resort to sitting on the floor to listen to the amazing speakers lined up – one of which was our very own president Harshan Jeyakumar. One of the speakers even stayed behind for afternoon tea following the forum in order to give out signed copies of her book to the new medical students.

The next night, after an exciting all-day scavenger hunt and MedFest, everyone headed to the docks to board the Victoria Star in their fireman/construction worker/doctor costumes for the “When I Grow Up…” themed MedCruise. The night was an unforgettable one, with drinks flowing and music pumping. Even the weather deciding to play nice for the first time that week.


In the following days, we had the International and Interstate Students Forum, which many first years recognised as an invaluable opportunity to meet other non-local students. They expressed gratitude for what they believe to be an extremely informative session. On Thursday, after a few dramas with the Wildfire BBQ and the rain, we managed to herd everyone onto the buses for the last social outing of the week – BOUNCEinc! The venue was hired out exclusively for the new medical cohort to bounce and play trampoline dodgeball as much as they wanted for an hour. It was ridiculous fun, and it turns out that going crazy on trampolines, diving into foam pits and throwing balls at each other is the best ice breaker we have discovered yet – many first years walked away from that hour chatting excitedly to each other and even swapping contact details.


The last MUMUS event of O-Week, after Transition Camp ended on Saturday night, was another new initiative: the Free Slurpies and Q&A Session. We kept the setup quite casual, with just a few representatives from MUMUS and various clubs and societies floating around to address any questions that had been left unanswered. Wildfire served an excellent BBQ once again.

Overall, we’d say O-Week this year was an amazing success. Not only that, but it was the best fun to organise and be a part of! Many thanks to everyone who helped out, particularly Harshan Jeyakumar (President), Ed O’Bryan (Social VP) and the entire Wildfire team.

Luke Nelson and Jocelyn Shan
(O-Week and Med Camp Convenors)


Futures Forum 2013

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

Event re-cap: MUMUS Fundraiser for Mental Health

Medicine & Mental Health
– Michelle Li (II)

At any given time, 20% of medical students will suffer from depression or anxiety. In the workplace, 75% of interns experienced burnout, whilst 73% met the criteria for psychiatric morbidity on at least one occasion.

We all know that the medical profession is a stressful one. But this does not, in any way, diminish the significance of mental illness in our cohorts. Sometimes we find it hard to study for exams, but others find themselves questioning their self-worth. Sometimes we find it hard living away from home, but others find themselves uprooted and with no emotional support. Sometimes we find the future daunting, but others find it bleak and closed and hopeless.

As part of Mental Health Week (7-13 October), MUMUS ran a fundraiser for Headspace, a national mental health foundation. This took place on Friday 12th October, where pre-clinical students spoke to their cohort between lectures about the prevalence of mental illness. Many wore green and even more donated to Headspace, with the fantastic end result of $404.85 being raised. Thank-you to all who donated and an ever greater thank-you to those who helped plan and run the event.

This has only been the first in many steps that must be taken to inform medical students that depression is more than a clinical illness–it can also be deeply personal. It can affect anybody, regardless of age, sex and even profession. As future doctors, we of all people should recognise that mental health should not be a stigma. We should understand that seeking help is not an act of weakness, but a sign of strength. We should learn that it’s okay to not be okay.

If you would like to find out more about mental illness, this video does a fantastic job of conveying what it feels like to be followed by the “black dog” of depression. You can also visit Headspace and Beyondblue.

Event re-cap: Caduceus Cup

The Game
by Harshan Jeyakumar (5D)

They line up in single-file. Two lines. 10 soldiers. Brave. Passionate. Willing. It has all come down to this moment. This one moment. They have entered the warfare and there are only two outcomes. Death or victory.

The Man stands tall. Booming voice. Rules aplenty. But no one cares. The moment is coming and instinct takes precedence. The whistle blows, the clock starts and the anarchy reigns. Three seconds is all it takes. With bodies strewn across the floor, in a desperate scramble for the last remaining grenade, the death count is remarkable. But it’s a miracle! They continue to attack as though it never occurred. As though they had never cross the blue line of no return. That forbidden zone across the battlefield. And the battle resumes.

Morality. Goodwill. Compassion. Honesty. Bandied about, for some less than a year ago, in an episode of pure marketing bliss. But now they have achieved their dream. The course has been bestowed upon them. So will they take this opportunity to show their humanity? No. This is no time to display such ineffective tactics. This is war. This is when the world stops to witness who will stand tall. Who will return home to their families proud and heroic. Who will never be the same again.

And then there is one. One man. Always a man. He has achieved the impossible. He has lasted. His army crumbling around him, he remains. The hero? The champion? Can he achieve what many have dreamed of? What many have attempted but few achieved? Six-versus-one. Can this lone lieutenant, abandoned by his men, hold fort? How did he come to this be in this position? How was he the one left behind as the others succumbed to the relentless pressure? One reason. Always the collector, never the firer. Behind the action, avoiding the frontline. Until his moment arrived. His moment, when heroes emerge. When his team stands in awe of this courageous warrior. He has already achieved what he set out to do. Praise and adoration. Accomplished.

He fights valiantly. Holding the weapons of destruction as the opposition attempt to maim. Collecting. Always collecting. But why? What plan? Thought? It does not occur.

The whistle blows. Time has beaten all. Our warrior defeated. The chance at history seized from his mindless grasp. And we hit repeat.

MUMUS 2013 Nominations

Call for nominations:
Friday 31st August, 5pm –  Friday 7th September, 5pm

Friday 14th September, 5pm – Friday 21st September, 5pm

Sunday 23rd September (MUMUS Bulletin): 2013 Executive announced
Sunday 30th September (MUMUS Bulletin): 2013 Full Committee announced

Friday 12th October: 2013 Committee sworn in

Visit http://www.mumus.org/ for application details, current committee members and the constitution.
Good luck!

Event re-cap: Monash Leadership Development Seminar

MUMUS Presents: The Monash Leadership Development Seminar
by Ashleigh Witt (5D)

My thoughts on leadership are best represented by the quote from Obama:

Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or some other time.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.

How many of us sit in the corner complaining that being things could be better, but waiting for someone else to fix them? What’s stopping us? The motivation? The inspiration? Or the fact that despite being in a field that demands leadership, we haven’t been equipped with the skills to be leaders?

Inspired by AMSA’s National Leadership Development Seminar, the MUMUS’ MLDS aimed to inspire and equip Monash’s next generation of leaders.

To create the most useful crash-course in leadership I could, I chose the people I’ve asked for advice over my year as president and the people whose stories and passion have inspired me. Over 100 students applied and hopefully the 80 who attended left with inspiration to become a leader, not necessarily in their medsoc, but in their lives and their careers.

Personally, the day reminded me of what I love about Monash Medicine – the fierce opinions, the big dreams and the knowledge that you could be sitting next to a future Nobel prize winner or AMA president or doctor who changes everything we thought we knew about medicine.

I owe a huge thanks to my amazing MUMUS Committee for their support not only for this event, but every day this year. I’ll end this article with a quote for you guys, by a man who has a place in my heart right beside Obama:

A good leader is someone who inspires other people to achieve. If all you do is give good advice, encourage the younger students and inspire people to be better people, I think you’ve done a bloody good job as president.

I hope this seminar achieved that Captain Rob.


Students share their experiences of the MLDS:

“Often, one of the most frustrating things in first year is how little you know when talking about medicine as an occupation, and thus going into a day specifically aimed at fostering and inspiring leadership in this field was understandably daunting. However, I really had nothing to worry about. Throughout the day we were presented with a diversity of speakers who engaged with all year levels and backgrounds present and managed to provide even us first years with invaluable skills, insight and perhaps most importantly, perspective on the leadership opportunities embedded within medicine. MLDS is an innovative idea and a rewarding reality! Cheers to MUMUS and Ash Witt for all their work.” – Lachlan Evans (I)

“MLDS had many varied, interesting speakers. Each of them presented their own viewpoints and advice, all of which were relevant to any leadership experiences we would encounter during university, and also in future. The speakers were entertaining in their own way, and the valuable pieces of advice given to us will be useful to us for the rest of our medical careers!” – Peter Lioufas (II)

“Chris Wright was a boss as usual. I also like how we had Subway instead of pizza.” – Xiuxian Pham (3B)

This year’s MLDS was held on Saturday August 18 at the Burnet Institute. The event program featured some amazing speakers, including:

  • Public speaking: Dr Sally Cockburn
  • Advocacy: James Churchill (AMSA President)
  • Negotiation: A/Prof Chris Wright
  • Selling yourself: Matt Lukies (MBBS V)
  • In education: Prof Ben Canny
  • In your career: Prof Mark Cook
  • In global health: Prof Rob Moodie

Keep an ear out for next year’s event!

Election results: Med Revue Committee 2013

Med Revue 2013 – Out with the old and in with the (mostly) new
by Michelle Li (II)

Congratulations to our new executive team for 2013! Welcoming:

  • Producer: Christopher Phillips (I)
  • Treasurer: Peter Lioufas (II)
  • Creative directors: Anna Schneider (I) and Zoe Willett (II)
  • Vocal director: Harold McLennan (3B)
  • Band director: Luigi Zolio (I)
  • Scripting heads: Nathaniel Lizak (I) and Leo McLennan (3B)
  • Editor: Nichita Gavrilescu (3B)
  • Stage manager: Danielle Panaccio (4C)
  • Technical director: Christine Kwa (II)
  • Marketing and promotions: Michelle Li (II)

Next year is going to be fantastic guys–looking forward to it!

We are also still looking for a choreographer. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please contact Peter at medrevue@mumus.org.

Event re-cap: 2012 AMSA Vampire Cup

The Simplest Gift
by Laura Nield – Sustainability Officer (I)

Blood. Now, what does that make you think of?

  • Vampires
  • The blood bank
  • The median cubital vein
  • All of the above: the 2012 AMSA Vampire Cup!

Also, if you thought Edward Cullen, please leave now.

The 2012 AMSA Vampire Cup is running from July 6th – August 31st this year. In this time, it has seen the medical societies of Australia’s universities all pitching in to roll up a sleeve and get their cubital fossas exposed at blood banks nation-wide, in a bid to take out first place.

As medical students, so often we are focused on the big picture: on training ourselves up to become the heroes, the healers of the future. Focused on learning exactly what nerve and artery is endangered by every bone fracture, on the precise components of a MSK examination, on learning the molecular basis behind cancer in the hope that one day we can find a cure for it. And sometimes, among this intense medical focus, we forget that we can still help others, still be those heroes, those healers, albeit simply in our day to day life.

Donating blood is one of the most effective ways of touching the lives of others. Taking less time than it does to learn the muscles of the forearm, each donation not only leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy (as opposed to frustrated by innervations and insertions!), it also saves up to 3 lives each time you visit. It’s not called ‘giving the gift of life‘ for no reason.

Within the MUMUS pre-clinical years, 4 trips have run thus far, with individual turn-outs ranging from 5-14 donors. Serving as both a great excuse to get into the city with friends, decipher the venous structure of the upper limb before anatomy classes, and simply contribute to a good cause and enhance the lives of others, I could not have organised these trips without the help of Isabelle Hau and Rachel Chen (both MM16).

Many thanks to all of my donating team (Nicola, Scott, Asher, George, Ari El, Tejas, Gauri, Nathaniel, Semonti and Michael) who trudged through splendid (though rainy) Melbourne weather, to be rewarded with milkshakes and muffins. It was fantastic to see so many of you first time donors getting on board.

And while the Vampire Cup is soon to reach its closure, donations need not cease!

The Blood Bank requires blood all year around, and any blood, regardless of blood type, is much appreciated.

To assess your eligibility to donate or book an appointment, visit http://www.donateblood.com.au/ and make sure YOU get your median cubital veins out, head down to a blood bank near you with some friends and help to change the lives of others (in a way much less painful then memorizing the brachial plexus)!

Update: MUMUS placed 2nd in the AMSA Vampire Cup! Congratulations to everyone involved!

Event recap: GMS Ball

Gippsland Medical Ball: A Touch of Winter
by Kirsten Larkins BBiom (A)

The 2012 Gippsland Medical Ball was held on Friday the 27th of July at the Premiere Function Centre Traralgon. As I was standing at the door checking off names a couple walking down the street stopped and approached me. They stopped and said to me ‘You young people all look lovely, what is the occasion?’ I explained that the event was the annual ball for all students studying medicine in the Gippsland region to which the lady responded ‘Well it seems like life is a little more like television than I thought, who knew doctors had fun!’

We certainly do know how to have fun – we also surprised both the DJ and venue manager with our stamina on the dance floor! There was a fantastic sense of camaraderie on the dance floor as well – everyone took their turn supporting those of us that were a little too unsteady to dance safely. I put it down to the caring attitude of future doctors. A special mention goes out to Assoc Prof Shane Bullock for his fine skills in photo bombing and his finesse on the dance floor (and for reminding us all of just how drunk we were in the lecture the Monday after).

The hit of the night however was the photobooth. If you missed out, all the unfortunate poses that were captured on the night can be found here.

And every good night ends with a good after party. An unfortunate amount of free white wine was available and more than a few made the most of the opportunity to mingle with the superheros that had gathered! I am still not sure how my lovely co-convener Lauren ended the night wearing a large dogs head – but I think it is an achievement that deserves some congratulations.

The 2012 GMS ball was such an exciting event to be a part of. I think the best part of being responsible for an event of this kind is seeing everyone enjoying themselves and knowing that you made it happen! A huge thank-you goes out to everyone that came and helped make the memories that I am sure will keep us going till next year when we can do it all again.

See you all next year!

Kirsten Larkins and Lauren Healy
Gippsland Medical Ball Conveners

MUMUS Med Revue presents: “Law & Orderlies: ICU”

Like Scrubs? Grey’s Anatomy? House? Then you’ll love this.

MUMUS is proud to present its 2012 Med Revue production, “Law & Orderlies: Intensive Care Unit”. Written, directed, produced and performed by Monash’s very own medical students, it’s pretty clear that the Alexander Theatre is the place to be on Friday August 10.

Join us in following our cast as they face the many challenges of creating a hit medical drama. Groove with our choir and house band. Watch our dancers take on Michael Jackson, one zombie at a time. Marvel at just how damn talented and good-looking that guy from your tutorial is. But most of all, laugh yourselves silly and have a great time!

Tickets are now on sale! They are available from the Alexander Theatre box office at Monash University, over the phone and online at http://monash.edu/mapa/ticketing.html

Prices are $17 for students and $20 for the general public.

Tickets will sell fast and it’s our biggest production yet! Make sure you join the Facebook event to keep up to date.