11 September 2019

Student doctors offering FREE blood pressure checks in Merimbula

| Ian Campbell
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Dr Andy Piotrowski (centre) supervises community blood pressure screening. Photo: Supplied.

Dr Andy Piotrowski (centre) supervises community blood pressure screening. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra-based medical students from the Australian National University will be offering free blood pressure screening at Twyford Hall in Merimbula this Thursday (March 28).

The students will be supervised by local GPs and are also keen to chat with locals about what it’s like to live in a rural community.

Nineteen students are in the Bega Valley this week as part of a rural familiarity experience called Rural Week, which aims to give future doctors a taste of what rural medical practice and living in the country is like.

“In the past, our blood pressure screening activity has been a great success and has helped detect cases of hypertension,” says Dr Erika Jaensch, Academic Coordinator of the Bega Rural Clinical School.

“We’re grateful to Merimbula Rotary who is working with us to help deliver this free service, in partnership with Dr Kate Reid and Dr Yin Lee from the Sapphire Clinic.

“The students enjoy the hands-on aspect of practising a medical skill, so please come along, say hello and take the time to have your blood pressure checked,” Dr Jaensch says.

Community blood pressure screening is just one of many experiences the students will take back to Canberra with them.

As well as formal clinical teaching sessions with local doctors at South East Regional Hospital, the students will also spend time with medical and allied health practitioners around Bega.

In addition, the Rural Week program includes home-based dinners with community hosts, a formal dinner where the Bega Cheese Scholarship will be announced, cultural awareness training with Twofold Aboriginal Corporation at Jigamy, a visit to Bega’s Hillgrove House and a surf lesson at Tathra.

Other rural locations taking part in similar experiences include the Eurobodalla, Cooma, Goulburn, Cowra, and Young.

The Rural Clinical School is funded by the Federal Government to encourage medical students to take up careers in rural practice.

The free blood pressure screening runs between 2:00 pm to 4:15 pm, Thursday, March 28 at Twyford Hall Merimbula.

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