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.

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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.

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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)

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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