Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No more impending homelessness

I've moved!!! From Unit 5, 14-16... to Unit 5, 10... - which is to say - I can see my ex-landlord from the courtyard of my new place :(

Too bad they can see us too from the stairs leading up to the front door...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Highlight of a medical student's career?

I woke up early to a cold Melbourne morning - only to miss my shuttle bus connecting the main hospital campus to the satellite campus 10mins away.

Reaching the clinic 30mins late was no matter at all, since no urologists were in sight when I arrived.

It was all worth it - because we told a consultant (call him A) that we were at the urology clinic to learn DRE (for the uninitiated, that's digital rectal examination or more crudely, finger-up-your-bum). Thereafter, every other urologist that A met was told of our presence (and aims). One laughed hysterically and I must say, unhelpfully.

There were just the two of us. It was a draw of 4-4.

(No, we don't keep scores for everything, just for DREs, venepunctures, IVCs, IDCs ..............)

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Who would have thought to associate dreaming 'large' with Melbourne Uni? Certainly not before the Uni spent millions of dollars on a multi media ad campaign (Aussie dollars I must say - which means it'll cost about 3x more in Ringgit Malaysia, or 0.85 in US ).

Dreamlarge is the name of the ad campaign dreamed up by the people commissioned to promote the Uni's move towards Melbourne Model. In the next couple of years, the University of Melbourne will no longer accept undergraduates into most professional courses - including medicine and law. Instead, the Melbourne Model will require school leavers to complete a generic degree (Arts anyone?) before moving on to do a professional course as a graduate. Doesn't it sound suspiciously American Model rather than Melbourne?.

I suppose it has nothing to do with funding (and fees), and everything to do with education par excellence. This change comes at a time when
  1. Most universities are facing severe funding crisis
  2. Melbourne has since dropped a few places from the best of number 19 in the world (only according to Times Education Supplement some years ago).
  3. Fees have increased drastically over the years for international and local students. International students now pay fees which are subject to up to 7% adjustment per annum. So if you start medicine, say, next year, and the fees should be approximately AUD$53000 (yes that much I'm afraid) - and by the end of your course of 6 years - $74335 on the final year for a whopping total of AUD$318,444 excluding living expenses (and yes...on current exhange rate, it does seem like it will be a touch beneath the million mark). Full-fee local students pay $10k less but they have no cap on the maximum 'inflation' per annum.

I am sure the Melbourne model will produce more broadly educated graduates (which sometimes seem necessary in Med - sometimes we forget there's life outside it). Maybe even better graduates. But denying that it is not, at least, partially motivated money is a lie.

Here's to dreaming large. Click on the link if, you too, find it hard to dreamlarge. http://www.dreamlarge.edu.au/