Medical students taking part in the “wellness day” at at Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre are, in the foreground from left, Paran Nadeswaran and Jessica Nghiem from the University of Western Sydney, and educator Dr Jane Barker.
Medical students taking part in the “wellness day” at at Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre are, in the foreground from left, Paran Nadeswaran and Jessica Nghiem from the University of Western Sydney, and educator Dr Jane Barker.

Doctors get taste of own medicine

THEY spend most of their time learning to care for the health of others, so it seems only fair medical students training on the Northern Rivers yesterday got a bit of time to learn to care for themselves.

The students from the University of Sydney, the University of Western Sydney and the University of Wollongong are doing year-long placements through the Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health as part of a growing emphasis on medical education in the region.

Yesterday's session at the Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre, Lennox Head, was largely about teaching the students how best to look after their own health as doctors, with a reasonable bit of fun and relaxation thrown in.

Among the activities for the “wellness day”, students were given lectures about how to look after themselves and the importance of having their own doctor.

However, the day also included activities such as massages, yoga and meditation and was capped off with a barbecue.

While designed to be a fun day for the students, the day had a serious component to it.

Doctors are consistently described as having one of the top suicide rates of any occupation due to issues such as high rates of stress. It is also worth noting a 1996 report for the Australian Institute of Criminology found occupations with high social status and high rates of pay generally had lower suicide rates.

For many of those at Lennox, it was one of a series of activities marking their last week in the Northern Rivers before they head back.

Anyone suffering distress may seek help through Lifeline by calling 131114.



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