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A career in research medicine

“For me the most enjoyable thing is the clinical skills side of it, because you get to apply the science you’ve learnt in the real world,” says Morgan Sheriden, a student in the Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). Clinical skills are a major component of the MBBS. “At the moment it’s been mostly examinations and taking histories from patients,” says Morgan. “In third year, you go from having four days of lectures and one day of clinical skills to having four days of clinical skills and one day of lectures at the hospital itself.”

Yet, despite his enjoyment of the clinical side to the program, Morgan really sees a future in research. “I think I would like to stay with academic medicine,” he says. “ANU in particular has quite a strong immunology background. So, I’m interested in hanging around and doing some work in that area.”

“There is a research project as part of the degree. I’m looking at using parasitic worms to treat autoimmune diseases such as asthma, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease. In order to live in your gut, these worms have to turn down your immune system. Having only a few worms doesn’t hurt you, and this ‘turning down’ might make the symptoms of your autoimmune disease go away. It’s pretty exciting.”

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About Simon Copland

Simon Copland is a freelance writer and climate campaigner. In his spare time he plays rugby union and is a David Bowie fanatic. He is a regular columnist for the Sydney Star Observer, blogs at The Moonbat and tweets at @SimonCopland.

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