Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. My chest is tight and my breathing shallow as I await any communication from HETI. Yet this email account does not belong to me. I am signed into my fiancés account, awaiting an email which will affect not only him, but also my country, my career and inevitably determine where I end up.
I was born in Australia and went to medical school in Australia and am now working as an intern in an Australian hospital. How did things become so complex? I am engaged to a Canadian medical student.
Nick and I met in his first year of medical school whilst enjoying a meal of Korean BBQ. Four years together in Sydney and we’ve made a home together with an apartment of self-refurbished furniture, potted herbs and our much loved pooch called Poncho. We spend our weekend eagerly planning for our wedding which is booked for early next year at the northern beaches.
I’ve spent this year working as a doctor in Westmead Hospital, and share my joys and dramas of my work with my best friend and future husband. Nick is also eager to devote himself to working within the Australian healthcare system, a system he has been educated within for the last four years. He has grown to love this country, and understand and appreciate the wonderful healthcare facilities and patient population which are present here.
With the desire to work within an Australian hospital, an Australian fiancé and an appreciation of Australian culture and landscape, why would Nick think of applying anywhere else? Well, perhaps I am to blame for him not applying elsewhere to work. I assured him “you’ll be fine,” “don’t worry about it” and “of course you’ll get a job here?” I guess sometimes I’m “too Australian,” and a little “too carefree.”
I never thought that Australian politicians would fail to fund so many prospective doctors. That they would not provide short term funding for long term gain. In a country with a shortfall or doctors, and a healthcare system that is continually importing doctors to fulfil demands, it seems unjustifiable that we shouldn’t attempt to build our own workforce.
This situation has been trying, tearful and just plain tough. I have never left this country for longer than three months. Will I move to be with the person I love? Of course. But I understand that by doing so I leave behind my family, friends, culture, and my country… my country that would be two doctors less in an already struggling healthcare system.