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Medical Centre Mondays: Tales of a MedSci student working the desk

What: A satirical series about a MedSci student trying to get into Medicine

Written by: An anonymous 3rd year MedSci student

Where: Workings 1 – 2 days a week at a medical centre

A note from the author

I didn’t get into medicine.

Not that I blame anyone specifically, but Jessica Mathias should have dropped to General Maths and our school average would have been higher for the Advanced course. So naturally, now I do medical science with 4000 other people that got 99.8 and didn’t get into med.

So while I am building my medical school resume I have decided to get a job at a Medical Centre in the inner west so that I will have something industry relative to chat about in interview  – in a years time.

But, how could I have imagined that my Medical Centre Mondays would become my favourite day of the week?

I wrote into The Footnotes hoping to share updates from my part time job and my journey trying to get into Med. And they gave me my own series.

Medical Centre Mondays:

Dedicated to future med students, current Medsci students and importantly, to girls that are going through a Coyote Ugly phase where they makeshift crop tops from skirts and visit medical centres in Inner West, as this blog wouldn’t be possible without you.


Monday 12th November:

I arrive at work 15-minute early and there is already a line out the front.

7:55am: The doctors arrive.


8:00am: A deep breath and the phones begin to ring. A patient who wants a script without seeing the doctor, that’s a usual phone call.  Patients wanting appointments then and there, patients requesting that today appointments don’t take longer than their allocated time, and a vomiting child who is touching everything.


10:00am: Someone without a Medicare card who wants to bulkbill.


Noon: A girl who walks in who looks like she was just came in from a tsunami, but most likely it was tsunami of nerves because she got a call back from her STI check last week. I paw through her results while I check her in for her appointment.

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Noon-thirty: There is a lull so I look through the medical records online and test myself. I like to play a game where I read their prescription, and try to guess the doctor’s notes. eg. Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole is for a UTI, amoxicillin-clavulanate for an ingrown toe.

In my 22 years, I have likely spent hundreds of dollars on coffees I had no desire to drink, purely in the interest of using cafe bathrooms in moments of fiery UTI panic; so I can pick a UTI victim the second they walk in the door. “But how long will it be?! Do you have a bathroom?!”


1:30pm: We have another receptionist who comes in for the afternoon night shift.  Dr.Cool* my favourite doctor who sometimes let’s me shadow her where appropriate* is removing a mole from a ladies back because it ‘risky’.

Risky, Dr.Cool teaches me, is border irregularity, colour variation or asymmetric.

The patient is nervous and Dr.Cool suggests that I could sit in and chat to her while she does it. While on distraction duty I watch as Dr.Cool injects the local anaesthetic. A few minutes later and the excision begins, which involves cutting around the mole, removing the entire thickness of skin, and then closing the area with stitches.

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