As a recipient of a GP Synergy Medical Student Scholarship, Belinda Watson used the scholarship to research her interest in geriatrics. A paper based on her research project was recently published in Australian Family Physician.
Why did you apply for the scholarship?
I’ve always been interested in being a GP, my local GP in Surry Hills was amazing. I thought if I ever did medicine – even though it was pie in the sky – that’s what I would like to be, a community GP.
I like people, and GP is about people not just about one problem they have, it’s about their life.
As a GP you can be involved, interested and proactive, what I’d like to be!
Tell us about your research project.
My research project was born from clinical experience and time on the wards. I’d watch people get discharged with instructions to see their GP, and I worried about whether they would.
Lots of older people are living alone and are incapacitated, although they are well enough to go home they’re not necessarily very well.
I pitched the idea in the interview, and one of the panel liked the idea and ended up being my supervisor.
The scholarship is 12 months on top of normal studies, so it needed to be an achievable project.
I got together with my supervisor and nutted out the details, he helped me through the process including submitting the project to the local health district for ethics approval.
How was your general practice community placement?
My placement was in Surry Hills, there was registrar in the practice who I was able to sit with and learn about the ins and outs of GP training.
She gave me some good advice about training and she allowed me to participate in clinical work, I was able to take patients’ histories – we’d both take notes and then swap to compare.
The practice has a broad patient population – so it was a great experience.
Would you recommend applying for a scholarship?
The scholarship is great, it’s a great opportunity to delve into the medicine you’re interested in.
It’s an opportunity to get into an area of interest a bit better, you also learn communication skills and team work, as you can’t do a project alone – so it’s a great experience.
If you would like to know more, head to GP Synergy Medical Student Scholarship.