Looking after the emotional wellbeing of our future health leaders
Medical students, whilst learning about caring for others, often neglect their own health. Beginning with the Transition Program during their first week of enrolment, students learn that wellbeing is about managing their mental, physical and psychological health to ensure they have a balanced lifestyle and are preparing themselves for a lifelong career caring for others.
However, for some students the university years can bring many personal and health challenges that can at times be overwhelming. A small team of academic and professional staff provide pastoral care or referral to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
As the Student Services Team Leader, Jodie Vickers is the first point of contact for students: "Students with severe personal, health or financial concerns that may jeopardise their studies seek advice on the most suitable member of staff to speak to, the university service to access or the external service to contact - for example Beyond Blue or the Victorian Doctor's Health Program."
The advantage for students in the Faculty is the wealth of professional experience that is available. In year one and two pastoral care is provided by Dr Richard Loiacono.
In years three to five, Associate Professor Chris Wright draws on his wealth of experience in hospitals as an intensive care specialist to assist students with the many difficulties that they experience.
The Medical School works closely with the Monash University Medical Undergraduate Society (MUMUS) who produce a student support booklet annually. The booklet Eudamonia includes tips on managing stress and anxiety, ideas for balancing study and relaxation, how to cope with exam stress and where to go to get help.
"It is very rewarding to see students achieve their goals and graduate with a medical degree. Hopefully the students that experience the most difficulties will become the most empathetic doctors in the future."