[AMA] I Am an Australian Medical Student - Ask Me Anything

Hey all,

Been using this site since I was teenager to snap up good deals. Always see these AMA's and I thought it'd be interesting to do one myself since people seem to always have quirky questions for me.

Ask Away!

closed Comments

  • -1

    I feel like this was posted earlier…

  • How are you a funny guy? Like a clown funny?

    • +35

      A common misconception, 90% of the people I know actually have a really big desire to go into some form of primary care. Being a GP is one of the only avenues that affords you a real life outside of work where as a surgery pathway will have you drained most of your life. Also good GP's are awesome, they are some of the most knowledge and lovely people I know and learn from. As opposed to some of the surgeons we work with whom can be really fully of themselves.

      • some of the surgeons we work with whom can be really fully of themselves.

        cough Charlie Teo cough what do you think of him?

      • A dentist atleast does something on a pt.

      • There are many other avenues you likely won't have had experience in yet that afford you a work/life balance. Clinical research, medicine safety, digital technology, corporate health, bioscience venture capital are some other things you can do with your degree. I've worked in all to some extent. All very important to improving health. In my opinion though medicine is not a great choice if you prioritise a well balanced life.

  • +3

    Do you flick pieces of fat (from the cadavers) at each other?

    • +5

      Someone in my year was suspended and consequently unable to complete the syllabus for the year and had to repeat.

    • -1

      Yeah and the deviates have a tube of lipstick and want to hang around after class

    • +12

      Definitely a no no. Working with cadavers is something taken very seriously as we've been trusted to study donated bodies in aid of getting an education to help others. Playing with the bodies like that would definitely get you kicked from the course at my university. No second chances.

      • +1

        Did you watch that guy who works on cadavers on youtube?

        It's so hard to look but interesting at the same time

        • +1


        • Gunter. Did OK with him, until he took off someone's face. Ugh.

        • We are pretty lucky at our uni to be well resourced, so typically what we do in our anatomy labs is more than enough.

      • Cadaver question.

        I'm going to be going into Osteo next year, so I imagine it's more of a point and identify this thing rather than what you have to go through but….

        How did you handle it? I feel like it's going to either freak me out entirely or I'm not going to be phased by it.

  • Asking for a friend. He has wart like things on his little fella. What are your thoughts?

    • +21


      • Get a big fella

        • You mean like a prothesis?

    • +3

      Both you and him need to be checked before your next 'date' 😉

    • "Wart-like things" is too vague a description . Please send Ms paint drawings :p

    • He used MS Paint too much…

      • +2

        That's a lot of car crashes.

    • +1

      Probably HPV without a more accurate description.
      Get the wart either frozen or cut and sent off.

    • Wart was your friend doing before it appeared?

    • If his immediate friends have no idea what so ever, then I suggest rather than looking at his "little fella" to look at get more educated friends.
      Of cause they are a sexually transmitted virus.

    • Also, a lot of people think that pearly penile papules are warts or some sort of problem but they’re completely benign and very common (in case you’re serious and this is what you meant)

  • +1

    What do you want to specialise in?

    • +26

      Not answering AMAs

    • +2

      Hey, sorry for the late reply I went out last night wasn't on Ozbargain.

      I think personally I am very interested in Ophthalmology. It is one of the most interesting and unique fields with a good balance of surgical and physician based medicine. There are so many different parts to the eye that you can sub specialise in and over all I think it's amazing the difference a treatment can make to a patients life. Fred Hollows was always an idol of mine from a young age and before I even decided medicine so sorta full circle. In saying that, I still have a while left before I decide what I want to specialise in.

      • +2

        Lmfao have fun 8-10 year unaccredited reg time. Although in all honesty hats off to you if you do make it through … and I don’t know you or anything maybe you’re the one that’ll make it through easily and I’ll be eating my words haha

        Nonetheless honestly good luck :)
        And if you still have a while to go you’ll probably change your mind (not always but 95% of people do)

        Ps. If you want physician surgeon mix there’s o&g as well to consider. Every speciality has subspecialities too so don’t get too bogged down on that. Hope you end in where you want to be

        • Not necessarily true. If you start doing opthal research in med school and build long term relationships with the profs from pretty much now, when it's time to get on its much easier. I've had a few friends go down that path and didn't have to wait past PGY4. Medicine is all about the relationships you build and without them you spin your wheels in unaccredited jobs for a long time.

          • @MissG: That's pretty much amazing / unheard of in Victoria. I'm not too aware of the ophthal training program but I know it varies between different states with varying criteria. In Vic - stupidly the CV component includes your Z-score (med school marks lol).

            Finding research to do during med school was an absolute pain in the ass, and if you found / did anything substantial I'd expect you to get in a surgical training program by PGY5 (which is what you've said). I know someone who pushed out >20 papers before med school finished and he got in specialty surgery (vasc) at PGY3.

            • @diazepam: True, I'm much more familiar with the Sydney entry pathway - they wouldn't include Z-score because USyd's grad-med program got rid of scores for over a decade. Sadly brought them back in because so many people wanted to go to the US.

            • +2

              @diazepam: More than 20 papers is insane. That guy must be a machine.

  • +3

    How much are you taught about nutrition and lifestyle factors? How much have you explored/intend to explore yourself?

    …Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food, etc.

    • Not OP, but my university focuses on this HEAVILY. Lifestyle factors are basically first-like treatments for most chronic conditions (and if not, then they’re adjuvants). If you’re interested in some of the stuff we get taught about, google the “RACGP Red Book”

      • +2

        From the Red Book:

        • "limit saturated fat and reduce salt"
        • "Consumption of red meat and processed meat recommendations modified to align with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations".
        • "limit red meat (three to four times per week) and limit or avoid processed meat"
        • "In addition, a high intake of red meat is associated with an increased risk of CRC. The Australian dietary guidelines (ADG) therefore recommend that processed meat intake should be limited (also because of its high saturated fat content"

        I'll just leave this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up__RB_rgRM

    • +2

      A huge part of what we are taught is diet based. So much of our health revolves around what we put into our bodies. A lovely tutor of mine recently put out a paper on how all diet's are fads, if you look around on the internet I am sure you can find who I am talking about. Personally I am not very interested in diet, however I can defs attest on it's significance. We also use the RACGP Red Book as written below it is a great resource.

      • Nutrition has many aspects.

        1)It's not just about nutritional excess (although that is the main problem). You will definitely come across people with various nutritional deficiencies. (Not common but you will see a few)
        2)All diets are fads —> Really? Please explain what you tutor meant.
        3)Never heard of the RACGP Red Book need to look into it.

        • Probably that eating healthy is a lifestyle, not a crash-diet to lose weight.

    • +3

      Yes we’re taught lifestyle makes a difference but that’s about as much as it. And first line treatment is always non pharmacological measures like lifestyle

      But (at the two med schools I’ve been to - I deferred after a semester and made it to another school) med school barely taught us anything about nutrition

      Recent paper that just came out proves how little doctors actually know about nutrition. I suppose that’s why there are dieticians out there

  • How much does medical school affect your time in a typical day?

    • Not OP, but my med school has a 6 year undergraduate program and the first 3 years (pre-clinical) has about as much teaching hours as regular school, but the amount you’d have to pre-read before lectures and study after were about the same amount of time (heavily limiting your free time). The last 3 years (where I’m at) is much more hands on and we get about 5-10 contact hours per week (class-wise), otherwise we are in the hospital for 8am-5pm most days (sometimes even weekends and night shifts), but the doctors are usually pretty nice and let us go early because we have so much study to do

    • I do a slightly more accelerated course than Time waster with 2 years pre clinical, 2 year clinical and one year transition in between. Overall I have uni Monday to Friday, 9-5. Makes getting a job near impossible and definitely takes a big hit on social life. However as long as you stay on top of your work there is more than enough time to have fun. Definitely have at least one big night out a week. My uni is pretty strict on attendance too, we have a gps app on our phone that sends our location when we are checking in for compulsory classes and placements.

      • +2

        I thought that GPS tracking was a joke… wow turns out it’s real (and in my opinion a gross invasion of privacy).
        But anyway every ozbargainer knows how to fake location anyway

        • Its actually really handy, makes attendance super easy for placements. Just whip out the iPhone app and send them your location and timestamp. Also works for getting clinician feedback in one place. If we are sick can take a picture of a medical certificate and it sends it to the faculty. As long as you aren't trying to skip compulsory things for no reason its great. No complaints at all. Its not tracking per say it is more like an app that lets us check in.

          • +2

            @imAfunnyGuy: yeah thats a lie - nobody likes Osler that app is dogshit

      • +4

        Wow gps tracking students. That is ridiculous

      • +2

        Which uni is this? Never heard about this

  • Surgeon or physician ?

    only one correct answer ;)

    • +1

      por qué no ambos

      • +2

        Spanish grammar better than English. :-)

    • Surgeon.

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