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About University of Galway
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At University of Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
We are pleased to jointly host a reciprocal exchange undergraduate medical student elective programme with the University of Western Australia. Each June four students from each university swop continents and experience life and a different healthcare environment. Galway students initially spend three weeks in Fremantle A&E department followed by three weeks in a rural and remote general practice at Narrogin. Places are awarded on a competitive basis.
How to apply?
Notices inviting submissions are posted on Blackboard at the beginning of September each year. Students interested in this exciting opportunity submit an essay entitled “Why I want to go to Australia” before the end of October.
More information: http://www.meddent.uwa.edu.au/courses/electives/visiting-students
The Fremantle Experience by Orla Fitzpatrick
During our three week attachment to the Fremantle ED we were fully encouraged to become part of the team, seeing patients and presenting them to the team with our management plan in place, cannulating, taking bloods and assisting in suturing and plaster casting were all everyday occurrences. The team at Fremantle ED is made up of doctors from all over the world including Ireland and the UK and made us feel very welcome during our time both inside and outside the hospital. Also the students from local universities were also there at the same time so we got to see what life is like as a med student in Oz.
We were lucky enough to visit the Royal Flying Doctors Base just outside Perth where we were given an overview of the organisation and a tour of the base including the planes.
Fremantle itself is a great place to spend time with great bars and restaurants. A trip to RottNest Island is a must as is the maritime museum; no really it’s that good! This is a really safe suburb of Perth but within easy reach of the city and some fantastic beaches, better than anything we saw on the east coast. If you want to cuddle a koala and feed the roos head to Caversham in the outskirts of Perth for an afternoon.
The Narrogin Experience by Orla Fitzpatrick
It’s bigger than you think, the hospital has more to offer than any of us were expecting and the staff were very welcoming. It’s the kind of place you have to make your own fun but with the help of a car (an absolute must in my opinion) you can see a lot of the south, of Western Australia from Narrogin. We used two of our weekends to take road trips, the first to Albany where we got to experience the migration of the humpback whales and the second to Margaret River, 365 vineyards in total – need I say more.
One of the GPs in Narrogin lives with her husband and family on a sheep station about 40 minutes away and invited us out for a day to see how they “do” farming in Australia, a real eye opener and an unexpected highlight.
During our visit the Nurses home was unable to accommodate us; so, two of the local GPs opened their homes to us and made us feel very welcome. Clare who is the administrator in the medical schools base in Narrogin was great for helping us out with anything we needed.
This six week elective is a fantastic opportunity to experience both life as a busy ED doctor and also the challenges of practicing medicine in rural Australia. For anyone considering a move to Australia after graduation in would be an invaluable experience both personally and professionally.