Rural-specific medical research and the Riverina’s innovations in medical science were on show today as part of an international symposium.
Medical practitioners and researchers, including some with Oxford and Harvard connections, came together at the 2018 Riverina Medical and Surgical Symposium at Wagga City Council’s chambers to share ideas and innovations.
The symposium, the second year it has run, had 34 posters on display.
The posters ranged from coronary-disease research to 3D scanning of chronic leg ulcers.
Associate professor Joseph Suttie, director of physician education at Murrumbidgee Local Health District, said the event also put the focus on rural health.
“We’ve got to address the issue of ‘rurality’, which is how close we are to services compared with urban areas,” Dr Suttie said.
“Also rural-specific things like relationships with the agricultural economy – for example, today we’ve got a discussion on asthma provoked by grain exposure.
“There are particular health factors in the regions that are not present in the cities.”
Dr Suttie said Wagga was leading in medical education.
“Our experience has been that in terms of the state, Wagga per capita produces more research from junior doctors than any other health districts in the state,” he said.
There are particular health factors in the regions that are not present in the cities.Dr Joseph Scuttie, Murrumbidgee Local Health District
“It’s really good that this culture of enquiry and academic research come in an organic way from the local community – it generally doesn’t work as well when it’s imposed from remote centralised bureaucracy.”
Similarly, symposium co-covenor Dr Neha Singh said the event was a way to keep medical personnel in the region.
“The more events here, the more likely you’ll have a core of people who are invested in research and innovation for the Riverina,” Dr Singh said.
“You’ll be more likely to have a core of doctors who’d stay because they see all this innovative and interesting work being done here.”
The event included a ‘Young Investigator Award Five Minute Theses’ in which researchers were judged for their poster presentations.
The symposium was supported by Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Regional Imaging, Calvary Riverina Hospital, The University of Notre Dame, The University of NSW, Wagga City Council and Dream Monitoring.