Local News at Your Fingertips

Medical student finds new direction in the country

2014-04-11 12.11.44

Medical Student Jessica Bienke and Dr James Bushell

by S Lowe 5THE FMnewsonline wattlerangenow

Jessica Bienke is a 3rd year Flinders University Medical Student currently on a 2 week rotation at the Medical Clinic Millicent. She is a city girl, but with some country background on her father’s side and a good sense of humour, especially when talking about herself. When she was accepted by the Medical Clinic and knowing little about Millicent, she thought she should be prepared, so she stocked up on groceries just incase. She had seen country towns where there was only a Post Office, she said. On arrival she saw that Millicent was not only well equipped with grocery items but the people and the clinic welcomed her warmly.
“This has been a great experience,” she said. “So much better, having one-on-one with the doctors, instead of being one of a number in the bigger city clinics and hospitals.”
“Here you know if the doctor asks you a question, you have to answer it, you can’t wait hoping they are asking someone else, you’re the only one standing there.” “But you really learn this way.”
I asked her about the highlights of her Millicent experience.
“I spent 5 days with Dr Bushell and I learned so much, I even assisted,” she said laughing, “if assisting means just holding something while he is doing an incision or something.”
“ I now have a real interest in dermatology, there seems to be more focus on skin cancer and skin issues in the country and I realise that it is an area I may specialise in, or a GP, but I do have a special interest now in dermatology.”
“My time here has definitely been more hands on; the doctors spend more time with their patients and are more caring than what I have experienced and the nurses have been so lovely to me while I am learning.”

“They also welcome student’s questions. I would like to come back to the clinic again, perhaps as an intern.”

Jessica has a twin sister and as children they used to play doctors, neuro-surgeons to be exact ,she said. Her sister is paramedic in Port Augusta now so the medical profession is well represented in her family.
Jessica said she jogs every morning and was surprised that so many locals waved and said hello to her.
She experienced true country life this week when a friendly local (dog) followed her several blocks on one of her morning jogs. She asked a local what to do and said they promptly rang the local radio station, 5THE FM, to have it broadcast on the lost and found segment. Dog is back with owner we are happy to report.
Jessica will return to Adelaide at the end of her two weeks. Her next training program will be in paediatrics, but a little piece of her heart may just well have been left in Millicent, where she hopes she will return one day soon.
Practice Manager Anne Bierwirth said, “Jessica is a good example of our recruiting program; it is not as easy as just placing an ad for a doctor. Our most successful method of recruiting is through the Students, Interns and Registrars who come to the clinic. We know that they have learned at the high level expected by our doctors and when they return as doctors, they already know the run of the clinic, our doctors and staff and many of the patients; we know them too and what they are capable of.
Dr Sarah Willoughby is currently working at the clinic as a Registrar, returning after being here as a student. She also said the training at the Millicent Clinic is tough but you learn so much. She has a special interest in anaesthetics and may return in the future.
Dr McIntosh said recently, she is the perfect example of how successful this method of recruitment is for the Medical Clinic. After coming to the clinic during her training, she decided to return as a Doctor and is now a Partner.


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