Successful Student Conference in Australia — OUM’s third

Graduates (from left) Dr. Moussa Ouedraogo, Dr. Claire Jones, Dr. Rod Gutierrez, Dr. Eddy Watkins, Dr. Sadisha Arachchige, and Dr. Xiaoni (Nini) Li.

Fifty-two students from every corner of Australia and five from New Zealand attended OUM’s third-annual student conference in Melbourne in March.

“It was great to see so many enthusiastic students and graduates,” says Taffy Gould, OUM’s founder who presided over the graduation ceremony on Saturday evening, as their families and fellow students looked on.

Doctors Claire Jones, Eddy Watkins, Moussa Ouedraogo, Rod Gutierrez, Sadisha Arachchige, and Xianoi (Nini) Li stole the show on Saturday evening as they donned caps, gowns, hoods, and other academic regalia in a graduation ceremony, much to the delight of their families, friends, and student colleagues.

As his three young children giggled, Moussa made the crowd laugh when he said that he did not understand how exactly he and his wife managed to have babies while he was a medical student.

The surprise of the ceremony came when Eddy was presented with the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence, a prestigious award recognizing superior academic performance.

Ever-present AMC Exam

Dr. Sarmad Ghazi (right) during physical exam demonstrations with Ronil Chand.

While Eddy had recently passed AMC Step 1, other attendees clamored for information about Australia’s registration exam. Dr. Johannes Wenzel, a former AMC examiner and expert on exam preparation, ran sessions on both days of the conference, focusing on preparing for the exams. In addition to the exam prep Tips & Tricks sessions, the conference included a clinical session on communication skills, medical legal and ethical issues, breaking bad news, and cross-cultural competencies.

Sarmad Ghazi, OUM’s Dean for North America and Course Director for the Internal Medicine Clerkship, gave a talk on applying basic science in solving clinical problems and demonstrated patient history taking and physical examinations. Inside tips on research, Clinical Key, and applying to practice

Students attending the conference also heard a presentation from Dr. Randell Brown, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Director of Research, and Dr. Daria Camera, Assistant Director of Research, on tips for publishing their research projects.

Else Talbot, University librarian, provided information on getting the most out of Clinical Key, and Joy Braun, Assistant Director for Administration and Registrar, gave a talk on applying to practice in Australia through EPIC and on the New Zealand pathway.

Student and graduate experiences

Dr. Paris-James Pearce, former paramedic and 2016 OUM graduate, flew in from Tasmania to tell students about his journey through OUM and beyond.

Hilary Skimming, a pharmacist from Cairns and final-year student, gave a talk on her clinical rotation experiences in Samoa and India, where she completed several clerkships.

The Melbourne conference has become an annual affair at OUM. Next year’s date will be identified soon after the 2019 Academic Calendar is released in May. The bi-annual North American student conference is next, scheduled for 14-15 July 2018 in Houston. All OUM students are invited to attend both conferences.