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26 August 2009

Spring is here…Gimme my AC!!!

  Spring has arrived in Brisbane, and the temperature is regularly climbing over the 30 mark. Nights are still very pleasant (20 ish). I have broken out my shorts again, and started to use the AC. Makes for a bigger electrical bill, but the ability to sleep at night is totally worth it.
  Last weekend I joined the TROHPIQ (Towards Rural and Outback Health Professions in Queensland)club again for a roadtrip to Cherbourg and Kingaroy. It was a very enlightening trip, especially with regards to Aboriginal Health. At the turn of the century, people from 26 different tribes and territories were rounded up and dumped in Cherbourg, with the hopes that they would either become "civilized" or quietly die and go away. This resulted in huge hardships, conflicts within the community and dismal health outcomes. Even as late as 1986, residents required a permit to shop in the neighbouring town, and to this day, no one is allowed to operate a shop. The government has also declared Cherbourg a "Dry" town, meaning no alcohol is allowed anywhere within a certain radius. Cherbourg is still struggling to become a functional community. The town has a health plan instigated by the people who live there, which takes into account the spiritual and cultural health of the people it serves. We toured the health facilities and heard about the town's history. They were well prepared for us, and were almost desperate to make us understand where they were coming from. I learned more in 3 hours there than I had the previous 8 months of program, with regards to Indigenous health care.
  Then we went on to Captain's Paddock winery for a wine tasting. This area is known as the South Burnett region, and apparently is studded with orchards and wineries. Lovely area and a great time was enjoyed. We spent the night in Kingaroy, and the next day toured the Kingaroy hospital, and practiced out suturing and plastering skills. Plaster of Paris drys quickly in the sun, and pretty soon all 16 of us had solid casts on our arms. So we were herded to the Emergency Department to play with the cast saw to remove them. I know for sure that this would be a great place to work, as the staff and doctors were heartily amused, and not annoyed, by our presence and disturbance. A good experience all around.
  Last stop was the "Peanut Van", a landmark in Kingaroy. this area also produces most of Australia's peanuts, and fresh nuts are sold from a caravan, in about 40 different flavours. Yummy! We then headed back home and back to reality.
We are now working full throttle on musculoskeletal block, with impending neuro-psych as a last stop. So we have dealt with a case of Osgood Schlatter's syndrome (bones grow faster than the tendons of the leg, and start to pull bits of bone away from the tibia, and this week we are talking about Osteoporosis with respect to a hip fracture. The "case" also seems to have dementia so introducing psych unit a bit early. There are only 7 weeks left in this semester. Yikes!

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