How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?
As a qualified medical practitioner and eventually an ophthalmologist, I will be committed to improving Indigenous health and addressing the significant health disparities that exist within Indigenous communities. One of the ways that I plan to contribute to this goal is by becoming an ophthalmologist and using my skills to address the high rates of eye disease that are prevalent in Indigenous populations.
I am particularly interested in researching genetic eye diseases, which disproportionately affect Indigenous communities. By gaining a deeper understanding of the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to these diseases, I hope to be able to treat and help prevent disease.
More specifically, I plan to take my skills to Aboriginal communities in Alice Springs, where I will work closely with Indigenous health workers and community leaders to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate care to Indigenous patients. I am from Alice Springs and it is a place close to my heart I have seen with my own two eyes the health disparity in rural Aboriginal communities. Even though my family ties are from far north Queensland and Thursday Island, the Aboriginal communities I grew up around were in Alice Springs. That is why I want to return one day with ophthalmic skills and gene therapy knowledge to help reduce the disparity of healthcare between those communities and the rest of Australia.
Furthermore, growing up I would watch Fred Hollows foundation ads on tv and would think how amazing it was that he could give sight back to people. Hollows worked tirelessly to improve the eye health of Indigenous Australians and I wish to follow his footsteps.
Overall, my goal as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker will be to use my skills and knowledge to improve the health of Indigenous people, particularly in the area of eye health mainly in Alice Springs. By working closely with Indigenous communities and focusing on culturally appropriate and sensitive care, I believe that I can make a meaningful difference in the lives of many, and in the same stroke, fulfil my career goal.
Current Progress Report
Reviewing semester 1 from both a personal and academic standpoint is something I’ve really had to take seriously going into semester 2. The reason for this is because of the somewhat disappointing exam results I received from semester 1. That being said, for the overall semester, I am above the ‘passing’ percent. This is due to my performance in the in-semester tests and the assignments; however, I missed out on passing each of the mid-year exams by only a few percent on each.
This was shocking to me, as the semester was going well, and I felt my understanding was good going into the exams. It became clear during the exams where my weak points were. Into semester 2, I had a meeting with my unit coordinator about my exam performance and standing going into the second semester. He reassured me that I was in good standing to do well in the end, and my weaknesses were clear, and the work is cut out for me to finish strong. Really, I need to do just as well as last semester but in addition ensure I actually pass the exams. This was comforting and motivating for me moving forward and I am confident I will pull through in the end.
I do not want to blame my exam results on anything outside my own control, but upon self-reflection I noted that I did work about 1 day a week due to the scholarship money only coming in literally during the mid-year break. My wife has since gone back to work enough now and the scholarship money is in, so I will not need to work at all during semester 2. This is very good for me because it awards me more time to bring it home at the end of the year.
My stress levels are down now which is good, and my goal is to keep it that way right through until it is all finished. I very much appreciate the support financially and it really does impact my studying experience and what I am able to achieve.