Alumni memories

The Medical Building in 1970
In the mid 60s I was a preclinical student on campus and watched with anticipation as the building was constructed from a library window where I often went to study. Having done my first few years in the old Anatomy and Physiology buildings on the diagonally opposite corner of the Uni (northeast corner), any prospect of new buildings was most welcome. It was with some devilish delight that we found out that the old marble slabs on which we did anatomy dissections in the old building had been used to create the marble wall in the entrance of the new building. Dr Graeme Young (MBBS 1969)
Medical school in the pre-clinical years can be very stressful and challenging. The academic rigour of the first 3 years resulted in numerous drop-outs. I remember a course-mate in year 3 who felt she just could not cope anymore and was having a melt-down in the winter of 1992. She stormed out of the Medical Building and exited towards Grattan Street. Naturally, I was very concerned about the toxic mix of vehicular traffic and her depressed affect. I held the hands of this extremely tearful girl and sat with her for an hour, not knowing a crowd of spectators from my year had gathered behind us. It didn’t end well though. She eventually quit medical school and moved interstate. But her then-boyfriend (who was in our year) is still my best buddy till this day! Dr Jack Tan (MBBS 1995)
In our third year of Medicine we took part in the Portsea to Melbourne trike race building our special trike with ape hanger handle bars. The bars broke off after the first km of riding so we had to continue steering by holding the front forks while being towed by a motorbike. We gave up after a few more kms and ended throwing flour bombs at all the other participants- a great mess on car windscreens in the drizzle. Dr Mark Zagorski (MBBS 1975)
Unforgettable was Prof Pansy Wright, to us a grizzled, gruff elder statesman of Physiology who knew amazing things, commanding full attention, the lecture theatre was always packed for his sessions. Dr Miranda Jelbart (MBBS 1975)
The new medical building, sketched in 1968
This son of a migrant family enrolled into medicine in the foyer of the medical building in 1973. Six  years seemed such a long time. The medical building became my home away from home. The anatomy museum was the first of the rooms to open at 8 am. I would sit at one of the desks along the Grattan St wall, studying anatomy whilst waiting for the first lecture at 9 am. The various exhibits were my companions in a way. Quiet, lonely companions who could have told many life stories. I’d sometimes gaze at the trees outside in winter and imagine they looked very much like the bronchial tree casts in the museum. Dr Vince Galtieri (MBBS 1978)
Medical students in an advertisement for the Ampol petrol station which used to be where the Doherty Institute is now located.

I can recall that I and a few fellow students walked out half way through a psychology lecture being held in the medical building on July 20, 1969. We didn’t leave because of disinterest in the subject matter. We went straight to the old Mayfair Hotel to watch an historic live telecast of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. The grainy images were in black & white as there was no colour TV in those days. The TV set at the hotel was the nearest one to the University of Melbourne. Dr Murray Verso (MBBS 1972)

I had not only to contend with the academic workload but as a rather bookish 18 year old I had to contend with growing up socially - parties, student clubs, the opposite sex and the endless cups of that amazing new drink the cappuccino. There were lunchtime recitals, student plays, avant-garde movies, outings & Student Balls. There was the record library where you could listen to LP vinyl records comedy  with comedy, folk music & Rock. I remember spending a wonderful time in quiet & relaxed surroundings listening to Jethro Tull, Steeleye Span &  so many others on a set of headphones. There was also politics with Women’s Lib, Gay Lib, the Draft Resisters Union & those seasoned ratbags SDS - Students for a Democratic Society. There was the Beaurepaire Pool & gym. I still remember that summer day when one of my colleagues walked into the lecture theatre in her bikini straight from the pool- try doing that today! I tried to meet & speak to each student- no mean feat as there were over 220 of us. What a diverse lot we were & still are. Associate Professor Chris Hogan (MBBS 1975)

I confounded the ‘white coats’ in the boardroom at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. They offered a student from the Austin an internship when questioned if their training programme was suitable for general practice training. Fate stepped in when my application to work in a general practice in Seymour, Victoria was misplaced. So, I took a job offer as a flying doctor in the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. That’s where I met my husband and became a ‘proper’ doctor. Along the way. I also discovered another love. Paediatric medicine. An awesome mentor sponsored my direct entry into the registrar programme at Perth’s Princess Margaret Hospital. I commenced my own private paediatric practice in Perth in 1998. What I value most from this journey is best expressed in the words accredited to Robert Louis Stevenson: ‘To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive’. I am still travelling, learning, making mistakes and trying harder. Dr Elizabeth Green (MBBS 1982)