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News > Old Boy News > Opportunities Abound

Opportunities Abound

6 May 2022
Old Boy News
Old Boy Jacob King (2013)
Old Boy Jacob King (2013)


Class of 2013

Old Boy Jacob King (2013), pictured, is a 2020 recipient of a Churchie Foundation Overseas Study Scholarship. He recently attended the University of Edinburgh and has penned the following recollections of his experience.

Since graduating from Churchie in 2013 I have completed both a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine at The University of Queensland (UQ). In 2020, before completing my final year of medicine I completed a clinical rotation in transplant surgery at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Over the course of the rotation, I observed kidney and pancreatic islet cell transplants and was privileged to witness a 7-hour emergency liver transplant. I also learnt about the difficulties and nuances of caring for the immunosuppressed patient after they have received an organ donation and met some amazing people who had elected to donate one of their kidneys to complete strangers, for no personal reward or benefit. The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is one of the oldest surgical organisations in existence, operating since 1505. Naturally, their museum (Surgeons’ Hall) houses one of the most extensive collections of anatomy and pathology specimens in the world. It was fantastic to be able to explore these and see conditions that likely don’t exist in the modern world.

I must admit that the highlight of the trip was attending the Six Nations Rugby Union game between Scotland and France. The walk from the centre of town to Murrayfield stadium was unforgettable, with school children on bag pipes swapping between playing the Scottish and French anthems depending on the density of kilts vs French berets. On a more sober note, I also witnessed high level crisis talks between the heads of the transplant departments from Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge. With the coronavirus pandemic just beginning, they were being forced to decide whether or not to cancel all future transplant surgeries. The decision either way would have dire consequences for the individuals and families involved. It was an esteemed privilege to observe and learn from their decision-making processes. Unfortunately, my elective was cut short and I returned home to Australia early. A miniscule sacrifice in comparison to the suffering of millions around the world.

Another tremendous learning experience was completing the Neurosurgery exchange program at Seattle Children’s Hospital, which included spending some time in the plastic surgery department. As one of the top Paediatric hospitals in the United States, it receives funding from the Gates’ foundation and as you can imagine is a highly technically advanced and modern hospital. This funding enables the hospital to give lifesaving treatment to any child, no matter their financial situation.

I have also spent time at the Hervey Bay Rural Clinical School and completed a rural rotation in Clermont and Emerald. Following a one-year internship in 2021 at Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, with rotations in general and vascular surgery, I have returned to Brisbane. I am now a Junior House Officer at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital working in Urology and Neurosurgery, whilst also studying for a Master of Public Health through the University of Melbourne.

To any young man from Churchie considering a career in medicine I would strongly encourage you to do so. Although it may seem daunting, medicine is an adventure that will enable you to travel the world, make countless new friends, and do something that helps people and benefits society. Having been fortunate enough to have all these experiences, I am excited by the fact that my medical adventure is only just beginning. I hope to pursue a career in surgery in the future. Thank you again to the Churchie Foundation and the Overseas Study Scholarship for helping to make this possible.

This year Churchie Foundation is again awarding the Overseas Study Scholarships for Old Boys. Applications are now invited from Old Boys and current Year 12 students wishing to attend colleges or universities in the UK or USA. The application process will close on Tuesday 31 May 2022. To find out more information, please click here. To apply for a scholarship, please click here.

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