|Julia Buras: rural medicine has so many possibilities|
Julia Buras said her decision to apply for a local internship after graduating from the Monash medical program followed a number of fourth and fifth year rotations undertaken at LRH and facilitated by Monash Rural Health.
The high achieving student was accepted to study medicine at Monash right after completing VCE. Julia chose Monash as it offered the only direct entry for school leavers course in medicine in Victoria. “This meant I could stay in Victoria and do my rotations in the state I am familiar with,” she said.
Julia’s experiences throughout her degree were diverse. She completed third year placements at Monash Health’s Casey Hospital which exposed her to the work of specialised consultants and numerous complex patient cases.
Later, during local placements, she took advantage of regular opportunities to improve her clinical skills.
“I very much enjoyed my rotations through fourth and fifth year at Latrobe Regional Hospital,” Julia said.“There were so many varied opportunities and diverse patient cases to see and there was support from junior and more senior staff. As a student, if you get involved, it is a very supportive environment.”
Julia’s enthusiasm for local learning led her to participate in the fifth year Mentor Program, where she was able to teach small groups of third year Monash medical students.
“Being closer in age to these students, I found that they readily talked to me about their experiences. Some told me that before they came to LRH for their rotations, Traralgon had not been on their preference list for placements, but having enjoyed their time so much there, they wanted to return for their fourth year rotations,” she said.
“The students were saying ‘I want to come back here, I don’t want to go to Melbourne now’ and I think that is a real testament to the rural sites and the support they offer.”
Having now completed rotations in areas as diverse as psychiatry, obstetrics, paediatrics, general practice, medicine, surgery and emergency medicine, Julia is looking forward to an intern year learning more about orthopaedics, anaesthetics and broadening her knowledge of medicine and emergency. She will be spending time at Latrobe Regional Hospital and the West Gippsland Hospital in Warragul.
“Rural medicine has so many possibilities and there is a need for good doctors, as I was made aware during my placement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service at the beginning of the year,” she said. “I have enjoyed all of the specialist areas so far and there is much I would like to experience before I decide on which area I would want to specialise.”
Julia said she was particularly looking forward to being part of the Gippsland Regional Intern Training Program (GRIT). “I understand this program provides a great learning environment, that it’s supportive and offers broad clinical experiences, so I hope Latrobe Regional Hospital are equally happy to have me as part of the team,” she said.
Julia also encouraged any other students considering rural placements to seize the opportunity, saying “it can really provide you with a bigger picture of patient care and offers a better-rounded and holistic approach to what might be experienced elsewhere.”