From the Dean
Professor Nicholas Glasgow, Dean, ANU Medical SchoolI welcome the publication of this next issue of the Journal. Congratulations to all who have worked to bring it together. It is a good thing for the Medical School. I particularly welcome the inclusion in this edition of a focus on indigenous and rural health. These are critically important issues for Australia, and it is good for all of us to be reminded of them.
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Editorial Team
I am pleased to present the second volume of the Medical Student Journal of Australia (MSJA). Inheriting the solid foundations laid down by our predecessors, our editorial team took carriage of this project in February 2010 with the challenge of upholding the journal’s budding reputation.

This issue was open for submissions from ANU medical students and junior alumni (that is, students who had graduated within the past two years). Although not visible yet, it is envisaged that soon this journal will be calling for Australia-wide submission, followed by the Pacific Region.

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Red earth of the desert near Maralinga in outback South Australia, 2007
Outback Australia: Red earth of the desert near Maralinga in outback South Australia, 2007
Source: Wayne England, user submitted (
Elective Experiences
Cuzco, Peru
Sankar Manchelle and Esther Han
We went to Cuzco, Peru for our elective. Cuzco is roughly 3500m above sea level, high up in the Peruvian Andes, making it one of the highest cities in the world. It was once the capital of the great Inca empire and having survived many wars, invasions and earthquakes, it is now home to nearly 350 000 inhabitants.

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Honiara, Solomon Islands
Miranda Holmes
Shanti and I boarded our plane in Brisbane, bound for Honiara, the Solomon Islands’ capital, armed with enough chlorhexidine to bathe a small population. Between the hand wash, masks and gloves, we almost pushed ourselves over the luggage limit - but we felt prepared, and we knew Professor Watson would be proud.

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Student Education
Essentially Beneficial Mistakes
Konrad Reardon
For every medical student, amidst the flurry of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry there is a quiet thought: "One day, I'll have a sick patient in front of me…" There is usually a moment of panic followed by the next question: "Where would I start?"

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On departing Plato’s Cave: the philosophical privilege of medical education
Ross Penglase
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is apt for the experience of medical students during their education. For not only does this tale gloriously capture the wonders of knowledge, of which students of medicine experience in abundance, it also speaks of the obligations of the holders of such knowledge

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Rural and Indigenous Health
Rural, remote and Indigenous health...
in your ARMS
Amie Rieseberg and Budhima Nanayakkara
Rural and Indigenous health in Australia is a hot topic. Certainly, one of the biggest issues is the clear disparity between urban and rural Australia in terms of a number of health determinants. These include isolation, workplace shortage, workplace retention and lack of key services, just to name a few.

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Banana Snapping in Innisfail: A John Flynn Scholarship
Nadia Coscini
Welcome to the festive atmosphere of The Innisfail Show which travels to the town every year on the last Friday of the July school holidays. The show travels along the eastern seaboard of Queensland and up across the top of Australia finally culminating in Darwin.

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How did I get here?
Professor Guan Chong
My ambition was to be a lawyer. That was unacceptable to an old-fashioned Chinese father, so I journeyed forth to a foreign country at the age of eighteen to achieve the family’s goal of my becoming a doctor.

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Research Papers
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, a review comparing Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians
Morgan Hee
To date, there is a good knowledge base on the causes of non-communicable diseases. These present a major burden of disease for Australia’s Indigenous peoples. Such diseases as type 2 diabetes have a disproportionately high prevalence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

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Antibiotic Activity of Extracts from some Bryophytes in South Western British Columbia
Mark Douglas Russell
The occurrence of antibiotic substances in bryophytes has been well documented by botanists and microbiologists. However, reports of ethnobotanical research into this plant group are minimal in North America.

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A longitudinal study of mental health morbidity markers in a cohort of 1st year postgraduate medical students
Steven Peterson
Medical school is not easy.  It is well known amongst the profession and laity that medical school is hard work and that medical students are predisposed to mental health issues such as burnout, stress and depression.

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News and Topics of Interest
Should boys receive the Gardasil Vaccination?
Teneille Boyland
The cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, has experienced controversy in recent times with questions raised about side effects and expense. Despite these concerns it has had an uptake of over 85% in female school students since the introduction of the vaccination program in 2007.

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Eating for Two - The common misconception in pregnancy
Matthew Thompson
Pregnancy is a time when most women are thinking more about their general health, and consequently many women make positive changes to their health such as quitting smoking and curtailing alcohol consumption.

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Gender and the management of cardiovascular disease
Corinne Lu
Healthcare as a domain has been particularly slow to recognize the complexities of the impact that gender has on health. Until recent years, women were under-represented in clinical research and medical literature was biased toward a male-based gender perspective.

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Guaranteed Internships for all Australian Trained Medical Students
Gert Frahm-Jensen
Every year international students make up a significant proportion of graduates from Australian medical schools. The number of international student graduates has increased from 144 students out of a total of 1,400 graduating in 1999 to 401 out of a total of 2,139 students in 2008.

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Altruism, charity and the Alumni of ANU Medical School
David Corbet
In my pre-medical life I worked primarily in the performing arts as a composer, musician and dancer. In line with the findings of the 2001 Australia Council for the Arts artist survey “Don’t give up your day job”, I never earned more than the average income of $37,000 and often earned a lot less.

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Internship at the WHO
Yin-Lan Soon
April 7 marks World Health Day and the birthday of the World Health Organization (WHO) which was established in 1948. World Health Day 2010 sees the launch of the year-long focus on urbanisation and health.

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Oaths are good medicine
Vivek Baskaran
A common feature of medical schools is the recital of an oath upon graduation. This is a cherished tradition for many medical students and their families, as university is left behind and the real world beckons.

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