You have probably heard of the UWA Health Campus at Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, maybe you noticed Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital on a relative's hospital visit, or while getting laser eye surgery at Lions Eye Institute, or a pathology lab test at PathWest in Nedlands.
In any case, the Campus has been home to University health and medical students since the 1970s, an education playground for the medically minded. The state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities have equipped students with the hands-on experience to train them into a range of exceptional professionals, from paediatricians to optometrists and everything in between.
It is an amazing conglomerate that includes two major public hospitals, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Perth Children’s Hospital, and is home to internationally renowned organisations such as the Lions Eye Institute, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, PathWest, The Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, and Telethon Kids’ Institute.
Here’s a sneak peek into what you might not know about the UWA Health Campus.
1. You can live broadcast your slide deck to the whole class
In the Biomedical Sciences E-Learning Suites, the digital microscopy facilities give second- and third-year pathology, microbiology, pharmacology and medicine teachers and students the chance to view and broadcast live images of slide preparations, so everyone can learn from each other.
Instead of the outdated ‘show and tell’ method of explaining how to analyse cells, you’ll sit in groups and analyse data on real patient blood samples, several steps closer to the real thing.
2. You can visit the Pathology Museum on your lunch break
The FA Hadley Museum has 3500 specimens – some very rare. Not only can you see lung cancer in a lung cross-section, but you’ll also be able to read the story behind the specimen, connecting the body part to the anonymous donor’s history.
You’ll find a liver from a hemochromatosis patient, where the iron accumulations have been demonstrated by a special stain that turns the liver green and “rusty”. Quite a unique museum specimen is a partially digested hand, that was retrieved from a shark’s stomach.
3. Get hands-on patient training as a dentistry student
The Oral Health Centre of Western Australia is WA’s tertiary training centre for dentistry, treating over 13,000 patients a year. If you decide to take dentistry, you could be a part of the dental training program by undertaking supervised patient treatment, putting all those memorised textbook chapters to good use. The dental student programs are fully accredited, and there’s even a Bunbury clinic to serve the South-West, for those who live 'douth.
‘Dentistry is inherently a very practical profession. Only a handful of professions involve high-level skills on real people. It is an absolute privilege to study Dentistry at UWA where the Dental Clinical Simulation Laboratory serves as a pre-clinical training environment. It is well-equipped for over 50 students at a time and provides a familiar armamentarium for when we transition to treating real patients. It is crucial that we learn and develop hand skills, equipment operation and ergonomics throughout.’
Pauline Wong - Doctor of Dental Medicine Student
4. The Library is named after our Nobel Laureate
Students enrolled in medicine, dentistry and biomedical sciences have classes on the UWA Health Campus, which features the J. Robin Warren Library, named after one of UWA’s two Nobel Laureates, and which recently underwent a $7 million refurbishment, transforming it into an innovative, technology-rich space.
Robin Warren and Barry Marshall won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Medicine for proving that up to 90% of peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori… not stress, which was the thought at the time. How did they discover it? Barry Marshall put his hand up as a guinea pig and drank a batch of bacteria…which, yes, gave him an ulcer. Bingo.