Future Focus: Emily Hutchinson

Emily Hutchinson is in her final year of medical studies at Curtin University, Western Australia, and arranged the second of two elective placements within sexual health clinics.

On top of completing an elective with the Royal Flying Doctors Service, Emily secured a three week elective at the Sexual Health Quarters in Northbridge and the Royal Perth Hospital Sexual Health Clinic. During her elective, Emily was able to experience a range of topics that are not commonly covered in medical school curriculums.  Read a full account of Emily’s experience below. 


Sexual health clinics

The area of sexual health is of particular interest to me and is an essential area of knowledge for general practitioners. The Sexual Health Quarters in Northbridge and the Royal Perth Hospital Sexual Health Clinic offer free or low cost sexual health services such as testing and treating STIs, contraception information and supply, unintended pregnancy and cervical screening services.


Broadening my exposure

I particularly enjoyed learning about and gaining a greater understanding of transgender and non-binary specific healthcare, and pre and post exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention. Although there isn’t a focus specifically on LGBTQIA+ health within medical school curriculums, I strongly believe a greater understanding of the needs of this community is vital in being able to provide adequate health care to LGBTQIA+ patients.

I was also fortunate to observe High Resolution Anoscopy (HRA) and laser treatment for anal cellular changes due to the Human Papilloma Virus with Dr Jenny McClosky, a pioneer in the field. She runs the only HRA and laser service in Western Australia, with similar services only found in Sydney and Tasmania. This elective granted me exposure into these areas, allowing me to more confidently and appropriately manage the patients in this community, particularly if I choose a career in general practice. 


Leaving my mark

Along with funding my commute to and from the city each day via public transport, the BOQ Specialist FutureFocus grant also covered the printing and binding costs for a sexual health OSCE booklet I created for medical students, based on the experiences I had during this elective placement. I provided one of these booklets to the Sexual Health Quarter’s Medical Educator for future medical students on placement to utilise and learn from. 


Elective conclusion

I gained invaluable exposure and experience during this elective and look forward to using this new information to help mould my future career. As a practitioner, I hope to draw on this experience to empower and advocate for the importance of sexual health and its availability to all people, particularly in rural settings.


To hear about Emily's elective experience with the Royal Flying Doctors Service click here

Developed exclusively for medical and dental students, each year the BOQ Specialist FutureFocus grants provide students with the opportunity to undertake an elective so that their commitment to helping others can be realised. Applications for our FutureFocus Grant open in May and close in August. 

You can also access funds to help undertake an overseas placement, with our Student Banking Package.


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