My third term was at a rural hospital in Nowra doing General Medicine. Just about anything can come in under Gen Med – patients aren’t admitted under specialty teams. I really enjoyed the term. My registrar was awesome, and my bosses were great too.
Nowra is about 2.5 hours south of Sydney, and about 1 hour south of Wollongong. I stayed in hospital-provided accommodation during the week, and drove home to The Gong on weekends.
Fun fact: Nowra is my Mum’s home town, and I spent all my Christmas holidays there as a child. The house I was placed in was 4 doors down from my Nanna’s old house (she died in 1998, and it was sold). I still have aunts and uncles in the area, and it was great to catch up with them.
It was also fun being in Nowra over the Christmas/New Year period. We had a few parties and big nights out, and there was great camaraderie amongst the group of interns, residents, and registrars in medicine, surgery, intensive care, and anaesthetics.
The medicine itself was OK I guess. As an intern on a Gen Med team you’re really a glorified secretary – writing in the notes, typing discharge letters, writing medication charts, etc. I didn’t get to perform any interesting procedures, but I saw some interesting patients.
One strange coincidence was when a direct admission under one of my bosses turned out to be the mother of my GP, who lives in Sydney. It was weird talking to my GP not as my doctor, but as the doctor looking after her family member.
So I enjoyed the term and saw how it’s possible to have a Gen Med rotation that doesn’t suck. It almost made me consider doing Physician’s training. But after seeing how much junior Medical Registrars (Basic Physician Trainees or BPTs) appear to hate their lives – at least for the first few years – I don’t think I could do it. If I was thoroughly passionate about a particular area, such as Cardiology or Gastroenterology, then maybe I’d be tempted. But I don’t have a passion like that – I just want a good job and a nice life that doesn’t suck. (Yes, I know that eventually life gets good for Physician trainees – I’m just too old and not interested enough to make it through the awful years first.)
Term 4 is General Surgery. I finish at the end of this week, and will have more to share with you soon.