Year 5D psychiatry rotation

Rotations 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Mildura Base Hospital, Mental Health Services
Clinical Supervisors:

Dr Hieu Pham, Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychogeriatrician

Psychiatry in a rural setting requires complex processes and interdependence on related community services where you get to explore and treatment mental illness while considering a person’s development, social circumstances and cultural back ground to build up a complete picture. Treatment always utilises a multidisciplinary approach with constant communication between clinicians in inpatient and community settings and involves medication, psychological therapies and socio-cultural interventions.

The Mildura Base Hospital Mental Health Service is staffed by a number of full-time psychiatrists, psychiatric registrars, clinical nurse consultants, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and both consumer and carer consultants. The service has a 12-bed acute inpatient unit and community teams covering

  • adult services,
  • aged persons mental health,
  • continuing care,
  • child and youth mental health,
  • Headspace, and
  • perinatal emotional health.

Students may also attend regular outreach clinics to satellite communities within a 100 km radius – Robinvale and Ouyen.

As a member of the Mental Health Team you will have the opportunity to spend a week in each the above services. You will also see some of the issues pertinent to being located in a rural area and the impact of rurality on staff and patients alike.

What students say about psychiatry

Having spent Year 4 and part of my Year 5 Aged Care rotation placed in the Mental Health Unit, I have to say that Psychiatry is by far one of the most interesting rotation Mildura has to offer, and is one that I thoroughly enjoyed doing in Mildura. It is a mysterious and engaging branch of medicine commonly misunderstood not only by us as medical students, but also by doctors in their respective fields.

Mildura’s psychiatry rotation offers a fantastic experience. The ward is a lot smaller than its metropolitan counterparts, however, Mildura’s wonderful locals provide a wide spectrum of presentations that will strengthen your approach to each psychiatric problem you encounter. This unique experience allows students to have unlimited and uninterrupted access to both doctors and patients, an opportunity I have found to be quite rare over my placement years. Being placed in Mildura will also provide a valuable insight on how a psychiatric ward operates in a country region.

The majority of your hospital placement will be spent with the psychiatry interns and registrars, shadowing them and assisting with their tasks such as contributing to patient notes, performing patient assessments, and writing discharge summaries. All these skills are transferrable and vital for your upcoming internship. You will also have an opportunity to sit in with the psychiatrists in their initial assessments, outpatient clinics, community health visits, Mental Health Review Board hearings, and administration of ECT.

If you choose to undergo this placement in Mildura you will have the privilege of working alongside Dr Hieu Pham. Dr Pham is a regular visiting specialist to Mildura, attending the ward, outpatient clinics, and community appointments weekly every Wednesday to Friday. Whilst specialising in geriatric psychiatry, Hieu will take you under his wing and teach you the essentials of psych (the “fish bones”) and prepare you above and beyond for a career in mental health. He is a valuable resource and I encourage you to ask as many questions as you possibly can, challenge each piece of information given to you, and involve yourself in every learning opportunity provided.

Henry Ring
Year 4 2018 & Aged Care 2019


Here's what one of our 2105 students said about his psychiatry rotation.