It’s literally snowing. Our fearless leader and expert Australian climatologist, Eric Gray, informed us that quote, “The winter in Armidale is like the winter on the Newport peninsula,” so simply bringing a pull-over sweater and a pair of rainbows was not a wise decision. The snow however, has not deterred the progress of the US workshop here at the UNE rural health clinic in Armidale. A group of 35 medical students of varying age and year (year 3 to year 5 students) have undergone a rigorous crash course in everything from the physics of US, placement of central and peripheral lines, to live diagnostic demonstrations of US for patients in their 3rd trimester of pregnancy. For many of the students, particularly the year 5 students, this is the first time they have used ultrasound and we are extremely impressed with how they use their anatomical knowledge for probe placement and orientation of the correct view. It’s crazy to imagine that at the average age of 21 they will soon become physicians. Eric, Neema, and I have been teaching the basics of knobology, the RUSH and FAST protocol, and how much bowel gas an American can generate after drinking real Australian milk and a well-done kangaburger. In fact, one of the GP physicians showed us that you can simply wiggle the probe and the bowel gas will diffuse away. The course is also taking place in the 14 million dollar brand new Tablelands teaching facility, equipped with myriad of digital “SMART” white boards, an echocardiogram, and a brand new SonoSite X-PORTE generating beautiful images. Most importantly, our teaching and the expert demonstrations in the workshop have been an extremely valuable learning experience for the three of us. I think we all can agree that this experience will prepare us for the coming MS2 year when US will be used in pathology.
Here’s a picture of some of our students showing what they’ve learnt: