Editor’s welcome: The Renaissance men and women of the future

01Welcome to a Volume 6 Issue 2 of the Australian   Medical   Student   Journal (AMSJ)! I  am proud  to  showcase the work of  talented  medical  students  and  to  keep our  readers  apprised  of  the  latest  medical research  and  news. The  following  review articles,   editorials,   feature   articles,   case reports and original research demonstrate the wide variety of medical student interests and expertise.

Medicine is both a science and an art. Medical students  are  required  to  be  Renaissance men  and  women,  mastering  not  only  the vast expanse of medical knowledge, but also the ability to listen to, empathise with and comfort our patients. As Stephanie Chapple explores in her feature article “Medical humanities and narrative medicine”, while the technical and scientific aspects of medicine are important, equally so is the development of a good approach to, and understanding of, the patient experience in a way that affirms fundamental respect for their personhood. This sympathy should also extend to our colleagues, particularly in relation to the problem of substance abuse among medical students, as discussed in the feature article by Lewis Fry. Truly, medicine is the art of applying scientific knowledge to provide healing and solace to our fellow human beings.

In  addition,  the  modern  practitioner  must be acutely aware of the moral dimensions of healthcare,  which  are  increasingly  complex as  our  scientific capabilities grow.  As  such, I  am  pleased  to  introduce  in  this  issue  a new section of the AMSJ: ‘Debate’, where a bioethical topic is disputed by two experts. For the inaugural Debate, Dr Hunt and Prof MacLeod – both highly experienced palliative care staff specialists – argue for and against the   legalisation   of   voluntary   euthanasia. AMSJ has also begun collaboration with the Australasian Surgical Students’ Conference, and I am delighted to publish the winning abstracts of their 2015 Research Competition.

As future medical practitioners, changes to the medical workforce are extremely relevant to us. The guest article from our partner, the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA), discusses the new Curtin University medical school, and why AMSA believes this would only exacerbate, not alleviate, medical workforce problems.

On a more individual level, many of us have pondered our future career options. Read Adrian Lee’s editorial about the expanding role of pathology in medicine, and how this affects its desirability as a career. Meanwhile, Neeranjali  and   Swaranjali   Jain   discuss   in their editorial how global health benefits future  doctors  not  only  abroad,  but  also here at home in Australia. Alternatively, turn the page to Aditya Tedjaseputra’s feature article  on  becoming  a  haematologist,  and how the Australian system differs from that of the United Kingdom. As the practitioners of tomorrow, it is imperative that medical students start being informed of career pathways today.

The AMSJ is brought to you by huge teams of dedicated volunteers from every Australian medical school, who sacrifice hefty amounts of their time and attention. Especial thanks to David Jakabek, my Deputy Editor-in-Chief, and my team of Associate Editors, who ensured the following articles are of the highest standard. Thanks also to Matt Megens and Jesse  Ende  the  Senior  Proof  Readers,  and their team, who ran the tightest proof reading ship in AMSJ history, and to Jane Guan and Noel Chia the Print Publication Officers, who swiftly laid out this entire issue with cheer and aplomb.

During  the  production  of  this  issue,  I  had the privilege of working with two Internal Directors. Thanks to Mr Christopher Foerster, the outgoing Internal Director, your patience and vision for the AMSJ was inspiring. Thank you to Ms Karen Du, our incoming Internal Director, for your hard work. Along with Ms Grace Yeung, the External Director, I welcome you to the AMSJ family, and I am sure AMSJ will continue to thrive under your leadership. Finally, I would like to thank our readers, authors, peer reviewers and sponsors who make AMSJ possible.

On behalf of everyone at the AMSJ, I hope this issue leaves you captivated, enlightened and thoughtful, long after you have put down the journal!


J Chan: