Year 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students swapped out their uniforms for surgical caps and gloves in the recent ‘Come and Try’ medicine session at The University of Queensland Rural Clinical School.
UQRCS Bundaberg Regional Clinical Unit Head Dr Therese Ryan said ‘Come and Try’ was an initiative that provided a unique opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students interested in pursuing a career in health in the Bundaberg Region.
“Students participated in activities such as taking vital signs, inserting a drip and airway management, and learnt about the health and safety requirements of scrubbing, gowning and gloving under the instruction of qualified clinical staff members,” Dr Ryan said.
One of the most important parts of the session was giving students the chance to speak with health professionals and medical students about careers in health.
“We were very fortunate to have Dr Dash Newington, a proud Arrernte Aboriginal doctor and Consultant in Anaesthetics, join us to speak to students about her career path,” Dr Ryan said.
Dr Newington had an interesting journey into medicine and was excited to be part of the ‘Come and Try’ event to share her story and to help inspire young First Nations high school students to pursue a career.
“Medicine is a rewarding career both personally and for helping the wider community,” Dr Newington said.
“We need more First Nations doctors, both for improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, but also for the benefit of the wider medical fraternity.
“First Nations perspectives bring a richness to healthcare that has historically been missing in Australia.”
Dr Newington hoped that the ‘Come and Try’ session would generate self-confidence in the students to consider career paths they may not have previously thought possible.
“Becoming a doctor requires hard work and persistence, but it is an option open to you no matter who you are or where you come from,” she said.
Students also gained information about the pathways into the UQ Doctor of Medicine Program, including the Regional Medical Pathway on offer in the Wide Bay.
The RMP is a powerful and unique partnership between CQUniversity Australia, The University of Queensland, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service and Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service delivering end-to-end medical education and training in our regions.