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Caleb Kim is in his fourth and final year of medicine. This year, he will continue his studies as one of the three students participating in UWA’s fourth year Rural Clinical School (RCS) pilot program in Bunbury.
He is also a recipient of an overseas study grant which assisted in funding a four-week clinical elective in remote Papua New. This was Caleb’s first exposure to a developing country, which he says, gave him a much-needed perspective on rural and global health needs in a system that operates with limited resources.
Among other pastimes, Caleb enjoys performing music. Prior to moving to Bunbury, he was involved in setting up and directing a community classical music ensemble. His interest has now moved to more popular styles of music and hopes to experiment with writing and recording after medical school.
The road to medicine
I had wanted to study medicine since early high school, but at the time it was only because a family friend that I had admired was a medical student at the time. I realised later that medicine conveniently aligned with my well-meaning, albeit generic career intentions of finding a job that “involved science and helping people.”
After briefly considering a career in engineering during which I completed my undergraduate in Engineering Science, I decided to commit to a medical degree, but it was only after beginning my studies that I came to a much deeper appreciation of the diverse opportunities afforded to a doctor. I’ve had the privilege of convening a research conference as well as working on some original research, and I’ve volunteered overseas and helped out with health promotion in local schools. Medicine was a spontaneous and naïve choice that I made years ago, but if the journey is anything to go by, I’ve got no doubts that I’m on the right track.
My regional learning experience
I jumped at the opportunity to complete my third year of study at the RCS in Bunbury. At the time, I was keen to explore the idea of a medical career in the country, and students who had previously completed the program encouraged me to apply and spoke well of how well the course was organised and delivered.
Before undertaking my third year in Bunbury, I had six months’ worth of practical experience in the busy, med student-saturated Perth hospitals. The Bunbury hospital was much more laid back in comparison. Consultants would do coffee rounds for the junior staff, and there were open-invite social gatherings with the whole medical ward. Doctors would know us by name, and we found it much easier to integrate into the medical team, build trust and as a consequence gain more hands-on experience.
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