I’m involved in helping to maintain and set up occupational medical support in various industrial sectors.
When I started my studies at Otago I was working in several locations around the world: a precious metal mine in Mongolia, a mobile seismic exploration in Vietnam, an LNG tank construction project in a wintry part of China and a huge oil and gas installation in Africa. So my work involved intensive travelling interspersed occasionally with about two weeks of holidays. This was when I had to find the time to update my medical qualifications.
The short holidays were good for short certification trainings but the timeframe was virtually impossible for undertaking postgraduate diploma, let alone embarking on a Master’s degree.
At the time, I didn’t know anyone endeavouring to study while working in a similar situation. Eventually, through Otago, I came to meet doctor-students in different parts of the world who had similar challenges which Otago was able to help them meet.
The modular training at Otago is very appealing. With good time management, I’m usually able to keep up with the readings, and through good logistics planning I’m able to attend audio-conferences, submit homework on schedule and have even been able to attend the annual residential school in New Zealand.
I find the occupational medicine modules very thorough and appropriate for my line of work. The facilitators are more than willing to assist with my queries as well as very helpful and understanding about the many times I encountered hurdles in my studies – like when I was stationed at a site with no internet and only intermittent electricity supply.
I completed the modules for a Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Medicine but after meeting my peers in the annual residential school I’d like to work towards a certificate, diploma or even a Masters degree in Aviation Medicine and Aeromedical retrieval. I plan to tackle this once I firm up a membership in the Faculty of Occupational Medicine in the UK.