Indigenous Health Scholarship 2022
James Cook University, QLD
Doctor of Medicine and Surgery
Scholarship Awarded 2022
Lyndal Brown (Harris Estate)
How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?
I am a proud Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan man from Cobar, NSW. I grew up in the regional town of Toowoomba and have always had strong connection to Indigenous and rural health care, through the Carbal Medical Centre. I particularly gained an understanding of the rural environment through my school, which had an emphasis on boarding students from isolated rural communities, many of whom were my friends.
As a child, I frequently spend time in the health care system and, as I grew older, I became more aware and intrigued with the individualised and patient centred care I received. Whilst young at the the time, these qualities have resonated and developed with me as I have grown up. Now that I have more experience and understanding of how health care systems function and how patient care can be provided, I am excited to be on my own path of providing positive contributions to health care, particularly in rural and Indigenous communities.
My progression through JCU’s MBBS program has allowed my knowledge and understanding of Indigenous health to grow substantially. Subjects such as Ecology of Health and Rural, Remote, Indigenous and Tropical Health has highlighted the disparity and issues that Indigenous communities face. Some of these issues include, access to healthcare, trust issues and cultural safety. I am also aware of current initiatives such as the Closing the Gap targets. As a future qualified Indigenous Medical Practitioner, I believe I can assist in addressing this disparity and close the gap through advocacy and providing culturally sensitive, high-quality healthcare to all my patients.
Whilst my goal and commitments are future based, I have already commenced to make a difference through various community and Indigenous involvements. I thoroughly enjoyed my placements at Carbal Medical Centre in Toowoomba and the Atherton Hospital where I immersed myself in the community and learned from my montors.
Current Progressive Report
At the conclusion of Semester 2 2022, I completed my 3rd year of studying Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery at James Cook University, Townsville Campus. This achievement is recognised as the halfway mark for medicine meaning that I received a Bachelor of Science. Whilst only halfway, I am continuing to enjoy all aspects of this challenging course.
This semester, I returned back to studying the usual four subjects. These consisted of Emergency Medicine (EM), Infections Diseases (ID), Global Health (GH) and Skin and Special Senses (SSS). As expected, there was a significant increase in the volume of content and study requirements for each week. Whilst this was extremely challenging at first, I used my past experiences to help guide my study and break the content down into smaller tasks. I also continued developing the patient interaction aspect of medicine through the subject, Clinical Skills. My favourite subject by far was EM, mainly due to how passionate our lecturer was and how easily he taught all the content.
To cumulate the EM subject, I undertook a four-day Emergency Department placement at Townsville Hospital and Health Services during December. This provided me with the opportunity to practice the knowledge I have obtained throughout the last three years of study. I was also provided with opportunities to practice Clinical Skills, including cannula insertions, taking bloods and history taking. Overall, this placement was very enjoyable and assisted the continual development of my clinical skills whilst improving my patient communication skills and building on my knowledge.
I also continued playing sport throughout this semester. Specifically, I played soccer occasionally on Friday afternoons and went to the cricket nets every week. This allowed me to develop my social life outside of Medicine by meeting new people and building and strengthening friendships. This also provided me with the opportunity to relax, refresh, and not worry about the stress that comes with studying.
During the mid-semester break I enjoyed an early 21st birthday celebration as my actual birthday was closer to exams. My parents and two sisters flew up to help celebrate along with my friends. This was a particularly enjoyable day with all my friends and family. After this celebration it was straight back to studying and preparing for the upcoming exams that were to be the hardest ones so far. However, I worked hard and achieved my best academic results thus far.
I enjoyed the Christmas break at home with my family and am now preparing for my six-week placement in Mareeba.