Christina Ohis

Candidate: Christina Ohis

Rural Health Club: RHUWS

Discipline: Doctor of Medicine

Please provide summary of why you are interested in the position, your ability to fulfill the position and your previous experience related to the position. (Word limit: 300 words)

I’m interested in applying for the sponsorship and publications officer position because I’m excited to contribute to an organisation that engages with rural health; NRHSN provides a welcoming and supportive environment for me to further my interest in rural health and promote it to other students. My mum and grandparents lived in rural Victoria for a large proportion of their lives. Hearing about their difficulties accessing healthcare has encouraged me to learn more about the health disparity faced by rural Australians and impassioned me to get involved in rural health. Through this position I hope to grow my passion for rural healthcare and spread it to other students through NRHSN publications.  This year I have attended a variety of events discussing rural healthcare and met some rural students. As a student in WSU’s Rural Undergraduate Pathway, I will continue to experience more of rural healthcare throughout my degree. Through the sponsorship and publications officer position I would continue to engage with rural students and metro students undertaking rural placements and experiences – inviting them to share their experiences through the Cooee newsletter. By ensuring the publication encompasses a variety of experiences from a variety of health students, we will be able to appeal to a greater audience and hopefully generate more interest in rural healthcare. Through collaboration with the social media officer, we could create preview posts of topics discussed in publications, engaging more people to read the full text. This role allows me to utilise my experience with graphic design software such as Canva, as well as my writing skills. I really enjoy writing and creative design, and this satisfaction will be evident through the quality of NRHSN’s publications in 2022 if I am selected for the role.

Please provide a response to the Key Selection Criteria. (Word limit: 1000 words)

1.I will be available for communication when needed – providing prompt and professional responses throughout the term.

2. I’m passionate to explore rural health, so I will ensure I am available for events and meetings.

3. I lack substantial experience with Rural Health Clubs, but I am committed to gaining more experience and collaboration with rural healthcare when Covid-19 restrictions permit.

4. I’m incredibly interested in learning and contributing to rural healthcare, particularly due to the experiences faced by my mum and grandparents when they lived in rural Victoria. Due to Covid-19 restrictions in 2021, I’ve had a lesser capacity to participate in rural health experiences. However, online events have enabled me to maintain engaged and learn about how I can further explore rural health in future years.

5. I’ve held a variety of leadership and supporting positions in the past. This year I assisted the GHAWS president prepare and rehearse the club’s annual event, Auction Night. In 2020, I was a senior SRC member and prefect (which involved managing the younger SRC teams, organising and hosting events, and assisting the captains with their duties), and a Tournament of Minds facilitator (which involved developing posters on Canva to promote the program, organising meetings, regularly communicating with all the teams, providing detailed and constructive feedback, and supporting students).

6. I recently presented at AMSA’s Global Health Forum 2 election.

7. The role of the NRHSN executive committee is to support and represent health students with an interest in rural health. They do this through advocacy, providing information and opportunities, and liaising with all the RHCs. Each executive role plays an integral part in the development and success of NRHSN.

8. A multidisciplinary approach to rural healthcare is vital for improving the quality of patient care and occupational satisfaction. Stronger communication and interdependence between medical and allied health workers multiple aspects of patient care can be addressed in an efficient manner. This collaborative approach resultantly improves patient outcomes and healthcare worker satisfaction. Due to this, it is important that multidisciplinary networks like NRHSN foster and promote teamwork between medical and allied health students, particularly within a rural or remote setting.

9. I have explored the publications, resources and papers created by the NRHSN team. The network’s advocacy commitments are clear through the advocacy positions papers, evidence-based research papers, and government advocacy submission. The career flyers for high school students are a fantastic resource for engaging students who are considering studying a degree in healthcare. Similarly, the resources for university students serve to assist them on their journey to a rural career; providing helpful advice about rural placements, training pathways, scholarships, and operating rural health clubs. The Cooee e-newsletters provide an informative and well-designed update about NHRSN events, student experiences, and stakeholder messages.

10. In roles of leadership, it is my duty to ensure the needs, issues, and desires of the people I represent are met. As a senior SRC member and prefect in 2020, it was vital that I represented the views of my cohort in meetings with the school’s management team. This ensured the satisfaction and trust of the student body was maintained.

11. Meeting timeline goals is vital to ensure quality progression of tasks. Group assignments over the past eight years have shown me the importance of this; collaborative tasks require all participants to meet predetermined timeline goals, so as to provide a buffer for any unforeseen challenges and to improve the cohesiveness of the final outcome. Unforeseen challenges could include some participants being unable to complete their share of the workload – if other participants meet their deadlines, then there will be a higher chance that the incomplete work can be redistributed and completed in a timely manner. Thus, because time management is incredibly important, I maintain organised by noting down the timeline and deadlines for any time-restricted tasks (whether it be assignments, applications, or event planning), setting mini checkpoints along the way to ensure I can develop an outcome of high quality.

12. Over the past few years, I have held leadership positions that involved communicating with people such as school administrators, management teams, and program coordinators. It was necessary for me to exhibit professional behaviour in these circumstances to ensure outcomes were achieved, mutual respect was established, and good relationships between groups were maintained. Unfortunately, during this time I was the recipient of unprofessional behaviour by people in these positions I was required to engage with. These negative experiences showed me how important it is that I continue to behave in a professional manner. Through clinical learning in hospitals, GP clinics, and community health organisations this year, I have had the opportunity to continue developing and demonstrating my professionalism skills, forming good professional relationships with the staff and patients I have engaged with.

13. While I haven’t previously worked closely with the Consortium of RWAs, I am sure that I can implement my communication skills and passion for rural healthcare to develop and maintain positive collaborative relationships.

Please provide your Curriculum Vitae. This can include a summary of specific previous experiences you have had related to rural health and leadership (events, courses, positions held, relevant previous or current employment). (Word limit: 500 words)

Rural Health Scholarship Webinar (RHUWS): this event gave me a massive insight into the plethora of opportunities available for students to experience rural health – such as the Go Rural trips, CWA scholarships, and cadetships.

Rural Surgery Information Night (UNSW SurgSoc): this event demonstrated how I could combine my passion for rural health and surgery, and provided an honest explanation about the advantages (such as smaller and closer teams) and disadvantages (such as the limited opportunity to subspecialise).

GP Careers Evening (GPSN WSU): this event taught me about the role of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and the capacity for rural GPs to have additional roles, particularly in obstetrics, anaesthetics and mental health.

Indigenous Health Webinar (AMSA, GPSN): this event discussed how we can provide culturally sensitive care and accessible medicine to Indigenous people, particularly those who live in rural and remote areas. Addressing the healthcare barriers faced by Indigenous people is paramount to closing the gap, and this presentation provided a variety of resources to help combat the systemic inequities that have prevented justice.

RuralUP interview (WSU): this interview allowed me to discuss my interest in rural health and learn more about opportunities and support for me to get involved. These opportunities included studying at a rural clinical school in 4th year, completing my Indigenous health placement in a rural or remote area, and experiencing more rural community events when Covid-19 restrictions permit – enabling me to learn more about the concerns and priorities that rural Australians have about their healthcare.

AMSA UHC Policy Review (AMSA WSU): this policy discusses the importance of universal health coverage (UHC) around the world, including rural Australia. This highlighted the healthcare inequity within Australia and the continuing need for rural healthcare engagement.

Last updated: December 24, 2021