Our achievements so far, with far more to come!
I’m writing this address on the way to my last exam for this semester. With a coffee in one hand and last-minute tapping through Anki cards with the other, it’s safe to say this semester has been a busy one. For those who are yet to finish, I wish you the best of luck for your remaining exams. Be proud of all the hard work you’ve put in. For everyone past the finish line, I hope you’re having a well-deserved break and congratulations on getting through another semester of medical school.
From ‘Squid Games: GPSN Edition’ to a medical style ‘Escape Room’, local clubs are in full swing
I feel proud to give you an update on what’s been happening across the country for the GPSN. At a local club level we’ve had a multitude of events run so far. I was fortunate to attend the ‘Dermatology Skills Day’ held by GPSN UQ which was a huge success (and I now feel quite the expert at cyst removals). The GPSN has also been busy in Victoria with both Melbourne University and Monash local clubs hosting a ‘Clinical Skills Night’ where students were able to practise suturing and procedural skills. An event that also caught my eye was the ‘Escape Room’ event organised by GPSN Monash. Likewise, GPSN Bond hosted a ‘Squid Games: GPSN Edition’ at the end of January which looked thoroughly enjoyable. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with national events, along with your local club on social media to find out what events are being held at your university (GPSN TAS holds a great trivia night I’ve heard)!
The 2023 Rural Cultural Immersion trip – I’ll see you there!
In alignment with NAIDOC Week, the GPSN is set to hold our Rural Cultural Immersion Camp from the 7-9 of July. Held at Yarrawarra, in the homelands of the Garby Elders and the Gumbaynggirr people, this three-day event is a unique experience that has become a key event in the GPSN’s annual calendar. Rather than the material we learn in the confinements of lecture slides, this camp will offer a different perspective and new way of learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. From a ‘Bush Tucker and Medicine Walk’ to ‘Damper Baking’, we have a lot of great activities planned. A special mention to Alex Yeoh and Anton Lu, our National Working Group Officers, who have put in hours of work to make this event happen. I am looking forward to attending and do hope to see you there.
GPSN National Leadership Summit
The GPSN National Executive team is busy planning for our National Leadership Summit in August, which is open to local GPSN Chairs and Vice-Chairs across the country. This event will offer advice from those in the field and showcase career journeys within general practice. In response to our Medical Pulse Survey findings, our focus this year will be on subspecialty opportunities. From refugee healthcare to skin cancer medicine, general practice provides ample opportunities to develop skills in special areas of interest. I hope this event will provide inspiration and insight to the 2023 GPSN leadership team.
Much-anticipated investment into general practice
The 2023-24 Federal Budget revealed a long-awaited investment into primary care and illustrates the Government’s commitment to improving the landscape that many of us will enter in a few years’ time. One key aspect is tripling the bulk billing incentive to improve access for pensioners, patients under 16 years of age and those who hold a Commonwealth concession card. From the perspective of medical students, these commitments from the Government are important to us. It shows there is real and legitimate change occurring within the field, making general practice a more attractive career choice. Regardless of which speciality we enter into, investment and strengthening of primary care means less pressure on our healthcare system as an entirety. If you haven’t already, there are great resources through the AMA, RACGP and ACRRM to learn more about what the Federal Budget means for us.
A new semester calls for new goals
Whether you’re in your first or final year, medicine is always challenging. It is a profession that can be demanding and consuming. A new semester is a great time to reflect and set new goals for the second half of the year. A personal goal will be to prioritise mental wellbeing. It’s easy to bottle things up, ignore subtle signs of burnout or put on a brave face at placement. Whether it’s going for a walk before dinner or organising a FaceTime call with school friends, I’m going to try and do small acts of self-care. If mental wellbeing is something that you’ve found hard to balance in medical school, there are confidential and evidence-based supports, such as MoodGYM or DRS4DRS, which can provide guidance if you’re not sure where to start. Medicine is a long journey – let’s take care of ourselves.
Planting the seed for 2024
As we head into the second half of the year, the GPSN at both a local and national level will be organising new leadership teams for next year. In the coming months, be sure to keep an eye out on social media for application deadlines. I can’t emphasise enough how rewarding being a part of the GPSN can be and we would love for you to be involved.