Medical student goes global

SECOND year med student David McTaggart is taking his interest in rural medicine global.

The former Rockhampton bloke who is studying medicine at James Cook University in Townsville will jet set to Cavalier, North Dakota in the United States for four weeks in December.

He was awarded the 2009 North Dakota Rural Bursary.

David will learn all about health care in the region working with Dr Lynn Kratcha in a GP clinic in Cavalier as well as visiting other allied health services and the hospital.

The 19-year-old said he received a grounding in rural health living in Rockhampton and he had been interested in the human body since high school.

“I would like to work in a rural area where they are lacking in skills and expertise, I think it would be a fascinating job,” David said.

He said being a people person was a trait critical in the industry.

“A good doctor needs to be a people person because it's important to identify with the emotions of your clients.”

The bright student had the chance to experience the Shetland Islands in the UK during the mid-year semester break on a similar placement.

He said this experience helped with the selection process required to secure his spot at Dakota.

“My presentation for the North Dakota Bursary was enhanced with a fresh and creative look on a somewhat repetitive discussion on rural health care in Australia,” David said.

The North Dakota Rural Bursary was established by Dr Kratcha, who completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in North Queensland.

It was founded to support a medical student with a specific interest in rural medicine. The bursary provides David's return airfare to Cavalier as well as living expenses.

David, who enjoys music and cycling when he doesn't have his head in the books, said while he was overseas he would take the opportunity to travel.

“I am going on a Contiki Tour for a month after the placement.”

And as well as the learning experience, David said he would also get the chance to explore the community and hit the slopes for some snowboarding, diving and hunting.

David leaves for his adventure in early December.

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