Indigenous Health Scholarship
Curtin University, WA
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
Scholarship Awarded 2018-2020
Rotary Club of Como
How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?
When I become a qualified medical practitioner my major hope is to work with the Indigenous population in both a rural and urban setting. In high school and my first year of medicine, I learned a lot about the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and I was appalled at the statistics. Being an Indigenous doctor I hope to become a role model for my people and contribute as much as I can to closing his gap within my lifetime.
I know that for many Indigenous people, especially in remote areas, the health system can be daunting, and filled with institutionalised racism that is hard to avoid. I want my patients to walk out of my room knowing that they are cared for. I want them to go home understanding their bodies and how to look after it in their own unique way; incorporating traditional medicine they believe in as well as western medicine.
I hope to increase cultural awareness among my fellow colleagues about Indigenous health, to hopefully eradicate negative stereotypes about Indigenous patients, and focus on the actual problems, closing the gap. I believe that it is crucial for everyone, especially health professionals, to have an understanding of Indigenous culture in order to deliver the best care possible. As a doctor I hope to become an advocate for Indigenous health education in medical schools and even early childhood education.
Current Progressive Report
Last semester I was at placements at various places including general practices and hospitals in Perth. I was able to observe multiple practices and this gave me insight into the kinds of work that I might be interested in in the future. For example, I most enjoyed working at Derbarl Yerrigan which reinforced my feelings about working with Indigenous people.
The amount of placements which were schedules for last semester meant that my studies suffered as I was out at the placements most days of the week. As a result, I did not pass my exam at the end of last year, however I was offered a second exam which I was able to pass.
I am now in Year 4 of my degree, completing my studies in Broome with the Rural Clinical School. I am currently doing clinical rotations at Broome Hospital. I started these placements 6 weeks ago. My first rotation was in general ward/surgery which I enjoyed. I learnt a lot of new things was able to interact with and even treat some of the patients. My second rotation is in Paediatrics, which I have just begun.
Being in Broome is great as it is where I grew up and I am able to see my family more. It is also nice to work with more Indigenous patients in the hospitals.