Global perspective on rural medicine
James Cook University second year medical student, David McTaggart is taking his interest in rural medicine global.
David has been awarded the 2009 North Dakota Rural Bursary which will allow him to spend four weeks in Cavalier, North Dakota, US with a local GP to learn about the health care in the region.
Having spent time in the Shetland Islands in the UK during the mid-year semester break on a similar placement, David is getting a variety of perspectives on a major issue in Australia: rural health care.
“My presentation for the North Dakota Bursary was enhanced with a fresh and creative look on a somewhat repetitive discussion on rural health care in Australia,” David said.
“Although I’m only in the beginning of my studies, I hope to work as a rural generalist practitioner once I’ve finished before pursuing more specialised training in one of the surgical specialties available.”
David will work with Dr Lynn Kratcha in a GP clinic in Cavalier as well as visit other allied health services and the hospital.
“The placement is not terribly structured or scheduled so I will certainly be exposed to a great variety of different experiences,” David said.
The North Dakota Rural Bursary was established by Dr Kratcha, who completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in North Queensland. It was founded to support a medical student with a specific interest in rural medicine. The bursary provides David’s return air fare to Cavalier as well as living expenses while he is there.
Making the most of this opportunity, David will expand on his travels while in the US, having a well-earned break on a month long tour of the country.
“After finishing in North Dakota I will be flying to New York where I will join a Contiki tour which will take me through 24 states, finishing in Los Angeles. Although I’m sure North Dakota will be plenty of fun, it doesn’t make sense to travel so far and turn around and come straight home,” David said.
Issued: October 9, 2009
For more information, contact Jo Meehan, JCU Media on 4781 4586.