Welcoming Dr Renuka Muralidhaaran
Renuka will join the Ochre Medical Centre St Helens in July where she will spend 13 weeks exploring rural medicine in a program funded by the Federal Department of Health.
The Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund is a community-based program designed to encourage more doctors to choose a rural general practice career. The program is the first of a number of programs that train, mentor and support doctors as they acquire experience in rural medicine through different stages of their training.
We asked Renuka a few questions about herself:
Where are you from?
I am from Singapore. However, I have spent part of my childhood in India and Malaysia.
Where did you do your medical degree?
I graduated from the University of Tasmania. I studied at International Medical University in Malaysia for the first 2.5 years of medical school and transferred to UTAS for the final 3 years through the partner medical school programme.
What made you decide on medicine as a career?
Medicine, to me, is a blend of sciences, arts, community service, communication and problem-solving, which reflects my interests and skills. I have wanted to be a doctor from when I was young. The idea of helping someone get better seemed like what I would like to do when I grew up. While I was in high school, I had an opportunity to shadow a doctor through the work experience program. This experience made me love medicine more and hence I decided to pursue it.
What did you do before embarking on a medical pathway?
After completing my ‘A’ Levels, I spent approximately a year working as an assistant teacher in a learning centre and traveled around parts of southeast Asia whenever I could.
What do you think you will enjoy and gain from your rural placement?
I am excited to be working at St.Helens. Working outside of the hospital setting is a new experience for me. I hope to engage with the community and gain insight about the lifestyle and culture. I am also looking forward to learning about healthcare in rural setting and the challenges that comes with it. Through my 13 weeks, I would like to improve my skill and knowledge about General practice and community health.
What specialties interest you?
I have a keen interest in Women’s health. I have also loved my placement in general practice while I was a medical student. I am planning to gain experience in a few more specialties as a junior doctor before I decide on a career pathway.
What are your impressions of the region where you are going to do your rural placement?
I know of St. Helens to be a small town surrounded by beautiful beaches and waterfalls. I am keen to be able to explore the national parks and walks nearby through my placement.
What hobbies and interests do you have outside of your career?
One of my other passions is dancing. I trained in a form of Indian classical dance called Bharatanatyam for 7 years and have dabbled a bit into the various forms of folk dance while I was in school. Currently, I am also part of a Bollywood Dance group in Hobart. I also like reading, trekking and trying out new food places in my free time. I am hoping to pick up a new hobby while I am at St.Helens and am open for suggestions listen to and play music (I hope to turn the drum set from a pipe dream into a reality soon!), play video games and go to the gym. Despite my long hair and regular coastal visits, I don’t surf, but I’m generally up for most things and would love to try it during my stay.