Radhika Ruwanpathirana – New South Wales

Radhika Ruwanpathirana – New South Wales

Hi, I’m Radhika, 4th year medical student from UNSW and I’m an international student from Sri Lanka.

I’ve been following up on the intern crisis for a while now and and it’s getting worse each year. This year I personally know so many 6th years from our university who are packing up to go home after 6 years of hard work just because they did not receive an internship spot. I will graduate at the end of 2014, so if this continues I will probably have to do the same , but it’s worse for me because I have limited options as my home country does not welcome foreign graduates like some of the other countries do.

So here are some reasons why it’s so important for me to get an internship position in Australia….

1) Once you leave Sri Lanka without attending medical school there they make it quite tough for us to get back in. They have limited places as it is and the local medical students get priority and as I am considered an international student in Sri Lanka (as I left home to study in Australia without attending the local medical school) I am placed at the very bottom of the priority list. I will have to be super lucky even to get a rural war affected area in Sri Lanka where they don’t speak the language I speak (Sinhalese/English), and even getting this spot in very unlikely, so I am helpless.

2) Even to do internship in Sri Lanka I have to sit an exam – the ACT16 exam, which is held infrequently and I will waste a lot of my valuable time after I pass all my exams in medical school in Australia to prepare for another exam which just seems unfair. As it is a local exam many foreign university students find hard to pass this exam as they are unfamiliar with the medical issues and the medical system in Sri Lanka, so this is difficult.

3) My parents have sponsored me throughout medical school and this is very expensive as 1 Australian dollar is equal to almost 120 Sri Lankan rupees. They are soon going to be retired and it’s my turn to sponsor them and I cannot do any of this if I have no job.So it’s not just about my dream,its crushing their hopes and dreams too…

4) Since coming here I have made a lot of lasting friendships,got involved in so many volunteer activities and the community and Sydney has become like home to me and I will be very sad to leave all this behind…

All these reasons explain why I am so desperate to get an internship position in Australia, I will be willing to practice anywhere regional or rural anywhere is fine as I know that this is not the time to be picky… I just need an internship position. I came to Australia in 2009 full of hopes and dreams and I do not want them to be shattered apart and all my hard work in university to be wasted just because of this issue of lack of positions…. so please take some action. Thank you

Radhika is a 4th year UNSW medical student who will graduate in 2014. The #interncrisis is going to be a long term problem, and unless a solution is found she may not have an internship and will have to leave the country. Take Action

This post was written by
Medical Student Action on Training (MSAT) is a grassroots movement by Medical Students Australia wide who have united to raise awareness and demand political action be taken to solve the #interncrisis
  • Dayani Perers

    Radhika’s statements about ACT 16 Exam all foreign graduates sit is incorrect. what I find is she making a case to stay in Australia.. Probably she is a scholarship holder from Sri Lanka, There is no way she must return to Sri lanka

    • Radhika

      Thank you for your comment but there are some facts that you seem to have not understood so let me shed some light on this matter. If you read reason #3 carefully it says clearly that I am NOT a scholarship holder and my parents have spent every single rupee they have over the years to sponsor me. I also disagree with your comments about the AT 16 exam,the name of the exam has changed but the consequences haven’t changed at all, it is a MUST for any student who studied overseas ,this is an article for you to read if you are unaware of the exam. Thank you. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/110102/Education/ed04.html