Mark McOwan

Mark McOwan
Mark McOwan 
Doctor of Medicine MD (third year)
Mount Beauty ERC placement

I was attracted to Mount Beauty for this year’s Extended Rural Cohort placement because it offers a taste of most kinds of medicine and the chance to have a palpable impact on the community we’re working in.

Mount Beauty is unique because we are exposed to primary care through the GP clinic and we also have the opportunity to work in the hospital; it’s a good mix. I’m particularly interested in general and orthopaedic surgery, so working in the trauma unit that manages accidents from the nearby Falls Creek ski fields has been a great learning experience. I’ve had the opportunity to see orthopaedic procedures most days.

Studying in a rural setting has given me the opportunity to be part of the team and take on more of a clinical role, which I’ve found to be a better learning experience than I had in bigger hospitals. Because rural areas usually have smaller medical teams, students can often get more involved. They are very well equipped to teach here, too, with the owners of the medical clinic Dr Mark Zagorski and Dr Jeff Robinson well renowned GPs in the area.

I’m also really enjoying the lifestyle here, we often go skiing on non-clinic days and there are lots of wineries to visit, too. Working in healthcare means we’re in a privileged position in the community, and people have been very welcoming. I’ve been invited to dinner at colleagues’ homes which has been a great way to feel at home, and I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues up here.

My tip for other students: Get involved and become part of the team as quickly as possible. You are valuable to them. And it’s cheaper to buy skis than rent them!