Weird stuff happening. I was asked this morning to be part of a photo shoot in the Pathology museum at the Clinical Science building. This will be part of a presentation given in Melbourne. Then, I find out my profile was picked for the latest edition of Scalpel, the Australian Medical Association (QLD) e-zine. The link is here:
I've also been asked to be part of a thinking group about international students in rural training here in Qld, and was Quoted in the RDAQ (Rural doctors' association of QLD) newsletter:
Foreign medical students a solution, not a problem
...Foreign fee-paying medical students represented an untapped opportunity to solve Queensland’s rural medical workforce problems, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland, Dr Dan Halliday said today. He was responding to calls reported in the Courier-Mail for their numbers to be regulated.
“We know that Queensland is training hundreds of foreign fee-paying students: we’re training in English, in Queensland, to Queensland standards,” he said. “What more could we want?”
Dr Halliday knows why most return overseas after training. “At the recent RDAQ Conference in Mackay, we were all stunned to find that they’re not guaranteed intern places. That was a surprise to us and to the Deputy Premier, Paul Lucas who was at the conference.”
Completion of an intern year is essential before a doctor can be registered or further trained, but is only guaranteed for citizens or permanent residents. “Many would stay, but we throw them all out as soon as they’re qualified,” Dr Halliday said.
“I spent a year apart from my husband and will carry a quarter million dollar debt by the time I’m finished,” said Barbara Bradshaw, a second year medical student at University of Queensland, who dropped the bombshell on the Deputy Premier at the conference. “I want to stay. I want to go rural and serve the health needs of Australians.”
Barbara is not alone, as there are 80 internationals, predominantly English-speaking Canadians, in her year at UQ. The Courier-Mail has reported there are 170 in this year’s intake. Two thirds may remain as doctors in Queensland and Australia if they could get intern training here.
“We train these doctors, to Queensland standards, and send them home whether they want to stay and work for us or not,” Dr Halliday said. “On the other hand, we import doctors from overseas and put tremendous effort into verifying their training, and their language skills, and we can still run into problems.”
RDAQ points out that country Queenslanders’ health would be devastated without international medical graduates (IMGs), who make up 50% of the rural medical workforce.
“Queensland internships for foreign students are a smart option”.
So, um, yah. Didn't expect to be grabbing the limelight while here, but it's happening anyway.
"I'm going to Disneyland!"