Graphic: Isaiah Kamid
Hello, my name is Isaiah Kamid, and I was one of the very lucky recipients of the RFDS scholarship in 2021. This scholarship was used to help me with my Rural Clinical School (RCS) year-long placement in Kalgoorlie for my 4th year of Medicine. Having this scholarship helped me immensely by allowing me to focus solely on the placement itself and alleviated a huge amount of financial stress.
During the year, we rotated around the Kalgoorlie Hospital, gaining experience in Emergency medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, General Practice, Psychiatry and General Medicine. Each rotation had its positives and its negatives, for example, Surgery had some really interesting procedures to watch, and sometimes assist in, but required us there at 6:30am (too early on those cold dessert mornings).
I believe my RCS placement has opened-up a whole world of rural medicine and allowed me to see how much need is out there in the country for doctors and health staff alike. Previously, I knew I was interested in rural medicine but now I feel confident that this interest is in fact genuine and has become a passion. I have also been lucky to meet some amazing doctors who have devoted their lives to rural medicine who have become mentors to me. Their knowledge, not only of their own chosen fields but of a wide array of other disciplines as well as the cultural groups they service has inspired me time and time again. From an academic perspective, this experience was extremely beneficial, and I encourage any student with even the briefest interest in rural medicine to apply for RCS because you won’t regret it.
Outside of the hospital, this scholarship allowed me to immerse myself in the town and the culture. As a group, we received amazing teaching about the local Indigenous culture, met many Aboriginal elders and were able to hear the stories of the land we were living on. This included trips to local Aboriginal communities including Mount Margaret and the Ngaanyatjarra lands which were both incredible experiences. Within the local community I was also able to join the local soccer team as well as the local gym and make some great friendships.
Overall, this placement has given me a much deeper insight into both the medical and social issues faced within rural and Indigenous health and has further solidified my passion within both those sectors. I am so excited to continue my learning, going into my final year of medicine in 2022, and see where this experience will allow me to take my career in medicine. I feel extremely grateful to RFDS and AIDA for allowing me to have these experiences with far less of a financial burden as a student.