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Emily Robinson. Medical student, The University of Western Australia

In 2023, I moved to the coastal town of Broome (Rubibi), home to the Yawuru people, in the Kimberley – the northern most region of Western Australia. Here I completed my third year of medicine with The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia (RCSWA).

Every year, 10 medical students from The University of Western Australia, Curtin University and The University of Notre Dame Australia – Fremantle are allocated to the Broome site for RCSWA. Our weeks were spent attending placement at the Broome Hospital across the disciplines of obstetrics and gynaecology, general surgery, internal medicine, paediatrics and psychiatry.

We also had the opportunity to complete our general practice placement at the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (BRAMS), a walk-in clinic which provides holistic and culturally safe healthcare for Aboriginal people. Here, we were fortunate to meet and interact with the local Indigenous people in the community while learning about the chronic health conditions and social inequities that disproportionately affect our First Nations people. Other opportunities we had whilst in Broome included travelling to the remote communities of Balgo, Beagle Bay and Bidyadanga to work in the clinics.

Our weekends in Broome were spent relaxing on the beautiful white sands of Cable Beach, swimming in the rock pools at Gantheaume Point, floating in the lagoon at Coconut Wells, enjoying a delicious mango frozen drink at the Broome markets and (occasionally) studying. We also managed several camping trips along the Gibb River Road where we explored the rugged landscape, beautiful deep gorges, and cascading waterfalls.

My year in Broome was an invaluable experience, allowing me to gain competence in clinical skills and knowledge while opening my eyes to the challenges and benefits of rural living and working.

This year, I plan on continuing my involvement with rural health by working with the Students and Practitioners Interested in Rural Practice Health Education (SPINRPHEX) Student Rural Health Club and in the future, I hope to return to the country to work.

Acknowledgement of Country