Farewell to Hedland for medical students
New career opportunities have opened to Hedland’s visiting medical students, as they head home from a one-year placement with the Rural Clinical School of WA.
UWA medical students Joseph Di Francesco, Rachael Webster, William Smith, Belinda Pinskier, Jordan Korol and Tara Losic took their exams and said their goodbyes to Port Hedland Medical Centre staff late last month.
Mr Korol said he had particularly enjoyed visiting the modern facilities of Hedland Health Campus and learning more about a potential career treating children and infants in paediatrics.
“It’s been absolutely brilliant; loved every minute of it,” he said.
“The hospital up here is probably one of the biggest drawcards. It’s a really good site with really good exposure.
“The teaching here has been exemplary — I really enjoyed paediatrics. They have great teachers and kids up here.
Rural Clinical School of WA medical co-ordinator Rob Whitehead said the students were almost ready to practise medicine after treating a wide range of Pilbara patients.
“It was actually a great honour to go a year-long medical journey with these guys,” he said. “I think we all felt at the start of the year that they didn’t know a great deal about clinical medicine.
“But over 2018, they’ve spent many hundreds of hours working in hospitals, working with the Aboriginal health service, working with Royal Flying Doctor Service and general practice. They’ve come so far.
“I think they all have confidence that they are almost ready to do this job and that’s great to see that up here in Port Hedland.
“We can train student doctors at least as well as they can in Perth.”
Ms Webster said the group had toured the region, ticking off a host of unique tourism destinations.
“I feel like we have learnt so much,” she said.
“We are very lucky to have come here because it’s been the best teaching, been a really good group of people and have been on some adventures — been to Exmouth, which was awesome ... been to Karijini together, which was awesome. Sad to leave.”
Mr Smith said he had taken particular interest in the region and was keen to return after enjoying a two-week break mustering on a pastoral station and performing at North West Fest.
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