Sydney Medical Program competed in the inaugural Australian Physiology Competition

Dr Sharon Herkes and Prof Philip Poronnik
On the 24th of March this year, a team of five second year students in the Sydney Medical Program competed in the inaugural Australian Physiology Competition, hosted by the University of New South Wales. The team, consisting of Gabriel Gregory, Theodore Iannuzzi, Jason Luong, Lisa Wang, and Joshua Xu, was questioned on a wide range of physiology in both a written test, consisting of 120 true or false questions, and a knock-out oral quiz. In the written test, two of the students placed in the top three, with Gabriel placing third and Theodore placing first. Furthermore, the team also emerged victorious in the oral quiz, fending off fifteen other teams from a number of the other medical schools in Sydney, as well as one team that flew in from the University of Melbourne.

As an award for their success in the Australian competition, the team received private funding to compete in the 16th Inter Medical School Physiology Quiz, hosted by the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur on the 15th and 16th of August. This competition put the team head-to-head against teams from 104 universities in 26 countries, including two more Australian teams from the Universities of Melbourne and New South Wales. The competition was presided over by the charismatic Prof. Cheng Hwee Ming, with special guests Prof. Susan Wray and Prof. David Eisner coming from the UK to deliver lectures to the academics accompanying the teams and to assist in the adjudication of the competition. On the first day the team completed a written test, performing well enough to earn the award for the best newcomer team and a place in the oral rounds the next day, which were limited to 48 teams. Progressing through the oral rounds, the team reached the final, tying for second place with the Fourth Military Medical University from China, and being beaten by the University of Chulalongkorn from Thailand by a single point.
Dr Sharon Herkes and Prof Philip Poronnik
“Going to Malaysia to compete in the IMSPQ was an incredible opportunity to experience another culture and to meet other medical students with a diverse range of backgrounds,” says Theodore. “We all enjoyed ourselves very much, and learned a lot of physiology along the way. I would highly recommend both the APC and the IMSPQ to future generations of medical students. We hope that the University will encourage students to get involved in events like this for years to come.”

The 2nd Australian Physiology Competition is scheduled for the 13th of April, 2019, and will be hosted at the University of New South Wales. The 17th IMSPQ will be hosted by the University of Indonesia in Jakarta during the Australian winter at a date that is yet to be specified.