Stories and statistics from our clinics

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Tennant Creek/Alice Springs Cardiology Clinic

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Arti Arora, Stage 3 Medical Student
I met Dr Walsh, and his two assistants, Anne and Joanna, for the first time at Alice Springs airport. From there we drove to a smaller airport and caught our charter plane to Tennant Creek. Some advice for whoever goes next – make sure you don't take too much luggage (i.e. none of those big international travel suitcases), the plane is small!

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Brewarrina cardiology clinic

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Sean Hassan, Stage 3 medical student
As someone who has always had a keen interest in aviation, the opportunity to combine it with remote and Indigenous Health was one that I had been looking forward to for weeks. Aided by the anticipation of the day, getting up hours before dawn wasn’t so daunting. As we made our way over New South Wales, I attempted to shelve any preconceived notion as well as the statistics I had learned in Indigenous Health lectures. What I wanted to do was to experience the day without blinders, beyond the numbers and science of medicine. Once we had landed and taxing to the gate (an actual chain link gate), kangaroos hopping by in the distance, I truly realised how far removed we were from the city.
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Neill Kiely, Stage 3 medical student
With great trepidation I arrived at Bankstown Airport, home of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of New South Wales. As an Irish student here in Australia this opportunity was a dream come true because the RFDS is world renowned for its unique service to rural and remote Australia and I am intrigued by healthcare in rural and remote Australia. I met the team from the Poche Centre that I would be accompanying to Brewarrina, who were incredibly welcoming and allowed me to fly shot gun! We arrived in Brewarrina and for the first time in my medical studies I felt out of my depth. I was confronted with a side of medicine that is not included in textbooks or formal teaching and is almost impossible to comprehend until faced with the issues that are unique to the provision of healthcare in what I would consider both a rural and remote Australian town. With this said I feel very few opportunities have been so informative and so beneficial in such a short space of time.
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Alexandra Garland, Stage 3 medical student
My experience with the visiting cardiologist team, through the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, was both fantastic and inspiring. Beginning at Bankstown Airport at a rather bright and early 6.30am in order to board a small chartered flight for an hour and a half commute to Brewarrina, I was quickly introduced to both cardiologists, as well as the sonographer and the pacemakers and ICD technician, and was explained a little about the day.

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Caran Cheung, Stage 3 medical student
On April 27th, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to accompany the clinical staff from the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health to their bimonthly cardiology clinics in Brewarrina, an isolated town in far northwest NSW. The experience was both inspiring and humbling, leaving me with a new perspective on rural medicine, life and the burgeoning issues faced by Indigenous Australians in these communities.

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Bourke clinic

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James Doherty, Stage 3 medical student
A 7am flight over the Blue Mountains out to Bourke was an impressive way to start the day, and had us sitting around the staff room table of Bourke Base Hospital by nine thirty. With the Aboriginal Medical Service conducting their audit and out of bounds to students for the two days, we were welcomed into the relatively new, three wing, 28-bed Bourke Hospital.

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Priyanka Dixit, Stage 3 medical student
My experience in Bourke was nothing short of incredible. What I had imagined and what I actually saw were completely different. The flight to Bourke was where the journey began. I was introduced to the team consisting of a dentist, a 'speecho' (speech pathologist), a physiotherapist and two other medical students. Out of the plane windows we were able to spot the Blue Mountains, Dubbo, and many little towns scattered across the red sand.

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