Maya Stasiuk
Maya Stasiuk

Maya Stasiuk

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2023

University of Western Australia, WA

Doctor of Medicine
Scholarship Awarded 2023

Sponsored by:
Rotary Club of West Perth

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?

As a proud Minag-Wadjari Noongar woman, I strive to strengthen the representation of Indigenous women in the health field, as building a stronger workforce of Aboriginal clinicians, is essential to providing culturally secure care in Indigenous patients.

Throughout my time in medical school, I have naturally been drawn to the teaching of cultural awareness and cultural safety, particularly through the frameworks of clinical yarning and country healing.   As a medical student, I have dedicated time into projects tat further the education of cultural safety teaching, particularly through my role as a Aboriginal cadet at Fiona Stanley Hospital, and as the Indigenous Chair on the WAMSS (Western Australian Medical Students Society).

Through my work as (hopefully) an Indigenous paediatrician, I would like to focus a large part of my career on the Indigenous youth, looking directly at diseases and inherited disorders that disproportionately affect our Aboriginal children.  In particular, I wish to dedicate my studies and research project in Year 3 of medicine, to studying Rheumatic Heart Disease an its disproportionate effects on First Nations children.    Through my time at Perth Children’s Hospital with the Aboriginal Doctors Immersion program, I met with inspiring epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists who are looking to work with Indigenous doctors and med students to research and ameliorate the outcomes that these disease have on our youth.

Current Progress Report

This year commencing second year medicine and subsequent first year in rotations has largely been a learning experience. I started this year’s placement off on an Internal Medicine rotation at SCGH interrogating presentations of all sorts of pathologies. It has been an invaluable experience to apply the written learning to practical / clinical patients, as well as learning to take histories and presenting them to the team.

It was an adjustment to get used to the teaching style of rotations, but I have immensely enjoyed the clinical aspect of placement, being able to converse and yarn with patients has been a highlight for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed working in the Alzheimer’s clinic at Royal Perth Hospital during my Geriatrics rotation as it was an incredible opportunity to interact with patients with dementia, and measure their cognitive function via the relevant testing. We were also able to converse with the patient’s family regarding their
progress with the disease, and conduct a multidisciplinary meeting which elucidated how each facet of healthcare can work in unison to support a patients journey.

I am currently completing my Psychiatry rotation at Royal Perth hospital and thus far I have gained a much broader understanding into mental health conditions that affect so many Australians. It has been great to work with the teams and understand the sort of management and multidisciplinary contributions that are required when managing a patient with such complex issues.

I have undertaken my General Practice placement at the South Coastal Health service at Babbingur Mia with Dr Milroy and the team which has easily been my favourite experience in Medicine thus far. Working with such an incredible team comprised of strong, moorditj, Indigenous women in the healthcare field has
been incredibly empowering for me. I have loved getting to know the patients that come into the service, and have had the privilege of witnessing their health journeys over time. Women and children’s health, particularly Indigenous health, is something that I am particularly passionate about. Through the placement
at Babbingur Mia I was asked to attend a Babbingur Mia Cultural Advisory group meeting for upcoming research.

This semester has been a semester full of learning experiences and opportunities to gain pertinent and superlative skills that will undoubtedly assist me further in my medical career.

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