Two doctors and a final year medical student all with shared interest in rural medicine have returned from Papua New Guinea after exploring a new frontier in medical education.
Griffith University Professor Scott Kitchener and Dr Andrew Ready from Queensland Rural Medical Education (QRME) and Brodie Quinn, a Griffith medicine graduate, went in search of learning opportunities that would not only benefit the students, but add to the health care of the people of PNG.
North of the Fly River
They travelled to clinics in Kiunga and Rumginae at the north end of the Fly River to meet with local doctors and health care professionals.
“When I asked them, ‘do you think you could have medical students here on placement?’ their response was ‘how many do you think you can send?’” said Dr Quinn
The remote clinics offer a dramatically different experience from the medical student-flooded hospitals and clinics in Australia today.
“The two clinics are remote by any standards, the only way in is by air. Like most rural communities both Rumginae and Kiunga are safe, friendly and very welcoming of people from the health care profession.”
The clinics, although medium size, had a turn over like that of most regional hospitals in Australia with wards including high level obstetrics, paediatrics, surgery and infectious disease.
Griffith and QRME hope to have final year medical students at both clinics for the second half of 2013.
A unique experience is assured, with a student’s presence also increasing the value of the services provided by the local health district.
The PNG clinics offer students a genuine opportunity to be of value to the services they learn in and expand their own horizon.