Embracing Tomorrow's Doctors: The Wesley Hospital Opens Its Doors to New Medical Students

16 February 2024
Two young male doctors stand either side of their training doctor

The Wesley Hospital is privileged to welcome over 70 medical students annually, primarily from Australian universities, however approximately 20 percent come from various international universities.

A notable symbol of this diversity is the clinical school's cherished map adorned with pins representing the origins of all its students.

During their time at the hospital, fourth-year medical students undertake seven-week rotations in surgical, medical, women’s health, and paediatrics, while fifth-year students focus on anaesthetics, critical care, and the intensive care unit.

These rotations provide them with a comprehensive exposure to various medical specialties, enabling them to refine their interests and choose a specialisation.

We had the opportunity to interview two promising medical students who graciously shared their experiences as emerging doctors, the motivations behind their career choices, and their aspirations for the future.


Romeo’s Story

Meet Romeo, he is a 25-year-old medical student currently on placement in the Wesley Hospital and is here all the way from Berlin, Germany.

Romeo will be at the Wesley Hospital from November through March as he completes his final year of medical school where he studies at the Charité University in Berlin.

“I always had a keen interest in science and biology at school and knew I wanted to pursue medicine,” he said.

“Once I reached year 10 of school I was sure I wanted to study medicine and I began to hone in on my skills and knowledge while studying and was also able to do some placements at the hospital.”

He has enjoyed his time studying medicine but said he found it difficult during COVID when all his classes were moved online and he lost face to face interactions with people and being with patients.

As he nears the end of his degree he is choosing between two very different specialities, orthopaedics especially an interest in sports medicine and trauma surgery or paediatrics with a love of helping children and supporting families.

Romeo says that being in the Wesley Hospital is very different to his experience of hospitals in Germany.

“The structure of learning has been different, previously I would have stayed on one ward and seen multiple different doctors whereas at the Wesley I have been shadowing A/Prof Nicholas O'Rourke and Dr Pranavan Palamuthusingam,” he said.

“It has been a great opportunity to have such an in-depth leaning experience shadowing two consultant doctors.”

He explains how much he has enjoyed the opportunity to learn in this way as he has been able to follow the patient journey from clinic to surgery and post-operative recovery.

While in Australia Romeo has also taken some time to travel visiting Adelaide to see family friends, Melbourne to watch the Australian Open tennis and the Gold and Sunshine Coast.

He says the hospital has been wonderful offering flexibility to students allowing them time to enjoy themselves as well.

The Wesley Hospital is fortunate to have a young cohort of eager, intelligent, skilled and enthusiastic medical students. It's exciting to see them at the beginning of their careers and we can't wait to see where they go from here.


Lachlan’s Story

Meet Lachlan, a 21-year-old medical student studying at Bond University on the Gold Coast currently on clinical placement at the Wesley Hospital.

Despite the demands of his clinical placement Lachlan spared some time to share his experiences and shed light on what it's like to navigate the world of medicine as a young student.

Lachlan's journey into medicine wasn't a predetermined path from his early school days. Instead, it was a gradual discovery fuelled by his passion for the combined sciences of chemistry, biology, and physics.

Initially doubting his capabilities his perspective shifted after a conversation with his academic supervisor at school which propelling him into the realm of medicine. His affinity for interpersonal communication, honed through speech and drama during his school years, further solidified his decision.

Lachlan realised that a career in medicine not only aligned with his academic interests but also provided a platform to connect with and assist people on a profound level.

Commencing his medical education in 2020 amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic presented its own set of challenges. However, Lachlan persevered, driven by his excitement to immerse himself in hospital settings and engage directly with patients.

Choosing the Wesley Hospital for his clinical placement held personal significance, as it was not only the place of his birth but also where he received care throughout his life and close to his home.

Despite initially aspiring to become a surgeon, Lachlan's trajectory took an unexpected turn due to personal circumstances.

Born with a congenital heart defect and having experienced a stroke at the age of 19, Lachlan gained a newfound perspective on his career path.

He said as a patient himself he can understand how confronting and scary it can be to be unwell and how despite the fact the doctor may see these conditions day in and day out, how important it is for the patient to feel heard.

These challenges instilled in him a deep empathy and understanding for patients facing similar adversities, leading him to contemplate specialisations in either interventional cardiology or neurology.

Lachlan's own medical journey, marked by resilience and determination, served as a catalyst for his advocacy for patient-centred care.

Drawing from his experiences as a patient, he emphasises the importance of listening and empathising with those under his care, recognising the vulnerability and fear that accompany illness.

During his time at the Wesley Hospital, Lachlan had the privilege of shadowing esteemed professionals like Cardiologist Professor Gregory Scalia and Associate Professor Nicholas O'Rourke saying their mentorship provided invaluable insights have further fuelled his passion for continuous learning.

The unique learning environment at the Wesley Hospital afforded Lachlan the opportunity to explore diverse specialties, from surgery, medicine, women’s health and paediatrics, under one roof.

Looking ahead, Lachlan anticipates completing his medical degree in 2025 and has ambitions of pursuing further studies abroad, inspired by his grandfather's medical journey where he studied Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Whether it's exploring opportunities in New Zealand or delving into specialised fields, Lachlan embraces the boundless possibilities that the world of medicine offers.

As Lachlan embarks on the next phase of his medical journey, one thing remains certain – his unwavering dedication to making a meaningful impact in the lives of others through compassionate and empathetic care.

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