JCU life good op­por­tu­nity to meet peo­ple

Sunday Territorian - - INTERSTATE EDUCATION -

BEN Dick­son grew up in Sydney but ap­plied to study Medicine at James Cook Univer­sity be­cause of the course’s rep­u­ta­tion for fo­cus­ing on ru­ral, re­mote and trop­i­cal medicine.

He grad­u­ated last year and is now com­plet­ing his in­tern­ship in Nam­bour.

“Liv­ing in north Queens­land of­fers a very dif­fer­ent pace to life than Sydney,’’ he said.

“It pro­vides a bet­ter ap­pre­ci­a­tion of dif­fer­ent as­pects of Aus­tralian so­ci­ety.”

“For my first three years I lived at col­lege in Townsville, which was easy to or­gan­ise and a great en­vi­ron­ment to meet new peo­ple.

“I moved to Cairns for the sec­ond half of my de­gree and lived in a share apart­ment.’’

Mr Dick­son said liv­ing in Cairns of­fered div­ing on the reef, moun­tain bik­ing and many beau­ti­ful wa­ter­falls, not to men­tion places to hike, camp and visit.

“Every­thing is within 15 or 20 min­utes drive, which is some­thing you’d never find in the big city.”

Mr Dick­son said the James Cook Univer­sity course struc­ture meant he could com­plete six years train­ing as an un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dent, while gain­ing plenty of clin­i­cal ex­po­sure.

The course has three dif­fer­ent ru­ral place­ments, provid- ing a great con­text to learn prac­ti­cal skills.

“I’m a big fan of JCU be­cause of its small co­hort size and prag­matic, hands-on ap­proach,” Mr Dick­son said.

“I’ve worked with Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der pop­u­la­tions and helped co-or­di­nate a pro­gram to send JCU stu­dents to work in pae­di­atric clin­ics at the Yarrabah Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity south of Cairns.

“Course high­lights have been my in­ter­na­tional place­ments. I com­pleted a med­i­cal ro­ta­tion in Sin­ga­pore and took part in a trip to Kenya with Global Voices.’’

Through his hon­ours re­search, Mr Dick­son un­der­took train­ing in PNG and has also stud­ied in Myan­mar (Burma).

“When I grad­u­ate I aim to com­plete a Mas­ters in Pub­lic Health and hope­fully work in lower-in­come coun­tries in the aid and global-health field,” he said.

Liv­ing in north Queens­land of­fers a very dif­fer­ent pace to life than Sydney

Ben Dixon moved from Sydney to North Queens­land to study Medicine at James Cook Univer­sity

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