Monash Extended Rural Cohort

Discussion in 'Monash' started by Icanttypeasd, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Icanttypeasd

    Icanttypeasd Monash BMedSci & MD

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    Greetings fellow med students, I received an offer to Monash ERC today. I have read the brochure but am still confused. Could someone who knows about this course tell me their opinion of it. Also would doing this course affect where I go as an intern after year 5? Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  2. squashed

    squashed Monash BMedSci/MD I

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    Bump, anyone else who has experience being an ERC student? Or benefits of ERC vs bonded?
     
  3. I'm going to do ERC and spoke to a 3rd year ERC student to find out some more info

    Years 1-2 we're exactly the same for pre-clin as everyone else
    Year 3 we spend the entire year learning and doing placements at either mildura or bendigo
    Year 4 we have GP/hospital rotations (I think) in small country towns
    Year 5 we do a mix of rural and metropolitan placements in a variety of specialties

    After ERC there is no legal obligation to work rurally, and you can choose to work metro provided your Z-score allows you do to so (I've actually heard ERC students have the best average Z-scores, but I'm not entirely sure if this is true).

    In comparison, in a non-ERC BMP, you'd do more of med school in metropolitan areas, but in your internship year after finishing med school you might have to work in a high-need area etc etc

    Here's an ERC student's day-in-the-life:
    At the time he was doing 3rd year at Bendigo!

    Also I think jelli is doing ERC so maybe they can offer some insight + fact-check my post

    :D Personally I think ERC will be awesomeeeeeeeeee
     
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  4. squashed

    squashed Monash BMedSci/MD I

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    Yeah I'm looking forward to it too! I was also wondering the time spent in rural areas as it's 2.5years approximately, but do we go back to Melbourne for swotvac and exams? So is it just the timetabled semester that is spent away?
     
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  5. I think that we won't spend any time at all at Clayton in years 3-5, except in the possible (but not guaranteed) chance that we might have some placements at Monash Hospital for a small part of year 5.

    By the sounds of it we do the entirety of our learning/assessment at Bendigo/Mildura in year 3
     
  6. Icanttypeasd

    Icanttypeasd Monash BMedSci & MD

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    Correct and couldn't have summarised it better!
    Bendigo has a good hospital and they both have subsidised living. ERC in Bendigo still allows the opportunity to attend events in Melbourne as I have quite a few friends that will drive down from Bendigo or catch the train for events.
     
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  7. squashed

    squashed Monash BMedSci/MD I

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    I've heard from a fourth year student that we can choose to sit exams in Clayton or our placement location, is this true? And that ERC students have a higher grade on average due to the really fantastic teaching
     
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  8. Icanttypeasd

    Icanttypeasd Monash BMedSci & MD

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    I'll try and answer all your questions.

    1. You are not really 'isolated' post year 2. You can still come back to Melbourne on weekends for social events (Bendigo only). Even if you are Mildura, the med community becomes pretty close knit and they hold their own events.

    2. ERC is held in big towns like Bendigo and Mildura so at each site there will be around 20 students. (5-10 non ERC students go there as well).

    3. Teaching in rural areas is apparently better and Bendigo hospital is very good ( not sure about Mildura though). I know a few people who transferred into ERC so they could go to Bendigo.
     
  9. pi

    pi Junior doctor Administrar

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    Everyone is somewhat isolated from the "rest of the cohort" given you don't meet as a big cohort very often. In addition to graduation, there are other times you see the whole cohort: there are of course exams where the cohort unites, various social events (e.g. med ball), and also lectures in Year 5 which mandate everyone coming "back to base".

    Yes everyone has to do at least 4 weeks rural, which generally means either a year rural or a rotation in Year 5 rural. Worth noting that even though some people are not ERC, they still may be allocated to do a year or rotation rural against their choosing.

    ERC students actually go to the bigger towns of Mildura and Bendigo. Having been to both as a student - it's not socially isolated, there are plenty of people around to socialise with.

    As said, the times the cohort comes together is actually not that many times. Certainly by being rural there is no barrier to coming back for events. For example, the Year 3 students at Mildura almost always got all of or part of Friday off so they could travel back to Melbourne if needed be. And from Mildura you don't have to drive, but you can also fly back or use the V-line coach/train service.

    You're only as isolated as you want to be. If you choose to be a hermit who stays at home and doesn't come back to Melbourne then that's your own doing.

    In short: yes, I think so.
     
  10. hyperbole

    hyperbole New Member

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    Actually for specialist aspirations, being bonded is more of a hinderance than a positive.

    As you know, there is a little flexibility in when you can do your RoS obligation. However, both aren't overly beneficial for specialties.

    If you do your RoS during intern or post intern years before getting onto a training program, you lose a year of networking opportunities (potentially 2 in NSW) . As you know, there's a medical intern "tsunami". It takes years to get into the majority of specialties. Networking and having references is very important in this process. Having a bonded year pre-specialty training takes away a year to network with key staff and doctors (who will typically be based in big metro hospitals) in your interested specialties. So you're at a disadvantage compared to unbonded colleagues who will predominantly be at metro hospitals during PGY1,2,3 etc..

    If you get into a "small" and high specialized specialty and try to serve your RoS during registrar years or once you're fully qualified, the opportunities to serve in that specialty just may not be there or very limited in rural areas.

    What you do in medical school has no bearing on specialties at all. Of course you need to study properly and become knowledgeable, know the basic procedures and whatnot at medical school. This is to ensure you're a competent intern once you get there.
     
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  11. Icanttypeasd

    Icanttypeasd Monash BMedSci & MD

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    Hey umatsitter , I can't address all your concerns but I'll give it a go using my experiences as an interstate Monash student.

    Year 3 has no mid semester breaks and a very small mid year break. Even if you were placed in Melbourne it is unlikely you would be able to make weekly trips back to Canberra. You are pretty much stuck in Melbourne.
    Resume is pretty minimal when choosing a hospital. In victoria they look at interviews and mainly what your medicine score is.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  12. 1234med

    1234med Regular Member

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    Yep I've heard this too, but for obgyn. Thought it was only for obgyn, but it seems opthal has a rural quota too (I think this is different to erc/ bonded though)! I think most of the discussion in this thread is saying that rurality won't matter much in internships, but it seems that it can matter for training programs.
     
  13. Icanttypeasd

    Icanttypeasd Monash BMedSci & MD

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    At Monash you will have to undertake a rural rotation somewhere in your course. 'Medicine Score' is a term to describe assessments that can count towards your 'z-score'. The Z score calculation is pretty complex but it is formed out of the scores you receive in certain exams. Based on your Z-score you can be ranked and generally hospitals will look at your Z-score and preferences to determine your application's success. However, if you are interested in working in a rural area as an intern metro sites are a lot more competitive than rural sites.
     
  14. pi

    pi Junior doctor Administrar

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    Not sure why you have the impression that metro people come back to Clayton as a group much - they don't. Literally only in those instances I mentioned. Obviously it is going to be easier to catch up with people in Melb when you live in Melb, but if your friends are genuine they'll catch up with you regardless of how infrequent that's possible.

    I don't think "doing more procedure" translates to "better specialisation applications" at all. I think the difference in procedures is trivial in that by the time internship rolls in everyone catches up to the same point (by necessity) within weeks anyway.
     
  15. hyperbole

    hyperbole New Member

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    Nah the topic is ERC(Monash) vs bonded. The point is that in terms of career implications, going rurally for medical schools has none but it does for bonded since what you do in the hospital system(after graduation) matters. So there is a bit more risk(or things you need to research/ponder over) for a bonded student wheras a ERC just has to go rurally during med school but can be unfettered and be more flexible when they graduate.

    Certain specialties do take rural experience during PGY favorably. But not necessarily all. The opportunity cost is lost networking opportunites.

    For the stupidly competitive specialties like dermatology or ophthalmology, they literally only pick a handful or trainees each year across the country. So the CV required can get ridiculous. A PhD is common amongst applicants. This may not be 100% necessary BUT having research experience(publishing multiple papers) and networking seems to be key to getting a leg up! Its going to be a real slog to get into ophthal regardless.

    Ultimately, most medical students both gain and lose interest in all the different specialties during their med schooling an during the intern and pretraining years. So while being goal driven is good,(eg goal of being a dermatologist as a first year med student) its best to keep your options open and see where the med journey leads you.
     
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