Intensive Care in Melbourne – Taylor's Medical Students Gain Clinical Experience Downunder

The School of Medicine (SOM) at Taylor's University has recently graduated its first batch of doctors. During their studies, Taylor's medical students can undertake a 'Clinical Elective' subject which can be completed at either a local hospital in Malaysia or at a teaching hospital outside the country.

Jason Ngiam was given the opportunity to do his Clinical Elective placement in Australia, at the Northern Hospital in Epping. The Northern Hospital, is a major public hospital with 300-beds serving the northern suburbs of Melbourne, as well as the surrounding country areas of Victoria. It also has one of the busiest emergency department in the state - and posses a helipad to deal with critical emergency cases. Jason chose to do General Medicine throughout his 6-week placement, and was placed under the care of one of four medical teams which consists of a Registrar, two Intern Doctors and also medical student(s) who are all supervised by a Senior Consultant.

From Right : Dr. Niroj Obeyesekere (Consultant), Dr. Rona Zhao (Registrar) and Dr. Emma Turton (Intern) and Jason Ngiam (SoM-TU)

The types of patients Jason saw ranged from common communicable disease to cardiovascular disease and even neurological diseases (eg. Sciatica), as well as severe sepsis, oncology and as well as patients suffering from multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). Some of his assigned patients were also located in other wards such as Emergency Department or the Surgical Unit. During the consultant ward round, the consultant review the patients managed by the Registrar, and discussed the management plan with the team and teach us on the particular topic.

Jason commented that "I was glad to be given the chance to do physical examinations", such as a neurological examination of the lower limbs under the supervision of the consultant. Adding that "I was also taught to write management plans for patients during morning ward round and to follow-up with my patients. Through writing up the management plans, I learnt how to manage different patients who are having the same disease". During his time in Australia, Jason was also able to do some sightseeing – such as driving down the Great Ocean Road to see the 12 Apostles as well as going to the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance.

Summing up the overall experience, he noted that "the experience in Melbourne was fantastic – and that includes both the Clinical Elective Placement and the travelling part. Through all this, I also learnt a lot about the lifestyle of Australians and the way that they treat others very politely". To find out more about the School of Medicine,