onthewards is a free open access medical education website dedicated to creating resources for the doctors of today and tomorrow. Our educational topics are selected by junior doctors for junior doctors.
We release a podcast (onthepods) each week that can be listened to directly from the website, downloaded through our app or streamed via iTunes or your favourite podcast service. Each podcast also includes a summary of the content, written by a junior doctor.
We also blog (ontheblogs) on a variety of topics of interest to junior doctors and senior medical students. Career development (onthejobs) was identified as especially important covering topics for junior doctors with the increasing competition for vocational jobs and we provide expert tips on how to give you the best chance of securing your desired job.
Many junior doctors feel unprepared when they start their internship work despite long years of study and appropriate knowledge. In our experience it is the application of this knowledge and the ability to prioritise multiple competing demands that can be challenging.
Development of these skills occurs predominantly through experience and learning from senior colleagues. A formal education program can help embed knowledge and safe practice but many junior doctors struggle to regularly attend hospital-based lectures. This led to medical educators moving away from traditional lectures and using alternative methods of delivering educational content such as podcasts. This was associated with an explosion in free open access medical (FOAM) education resources.
However, few of these online resources were aimed at generalist junior doctors so onthewards was developed to address this gap and improve the availability of resources aimed at early career doctors.
We started with a team of four, originating at Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital, Sydney, Australia, developing locally produced podcasts. After increasing interest from doctors across different hospitals we removed passwords and made our resources available to everyone. We are now a team of over 25 that includes medical students, junior and senior doctors.
We are always looking for medical students, junior and senior doctors that are interested in joining our team.
Basic Physician Trainee at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with a background in human rights law and inorganic chemistry. Antonia has a longstanding interest in teaching, founding a clinically based Peer Assisted Learning program in her final year of medical school, and coordinating the Resident Bedside Teaching program at RPAH in 2016.
Bridget is a Palliative Care physician who enjoys working in a teaching hospital and palliative care unit in Sydney. Bridget completed her Bachelor of Medicine in 2003 at the University of Newcastle and was a physician trainee at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She completed her palliative care advanced training in 2013 and since then has worked as a palliative care staff specialist. Bridget is currently on maternity leave and enjoys flying kites with her two sons and riding the wave of sleep deprivation with her young daughter.
Senior Staff Specialist in Emergency Medicine, Bruce has practiced emergency medicine for over 30 years. He has been the Director of Prevocational Education & Training at POWH for 14 years. Bruce is a member of the HETI Prevocational Accreditation Committee and a survey team leader. His teaching interests include simulation, ultrasound, resuscitation and teaching teachers. Bruce feels JMO education is the essential foundation of good doctors and the key to this is good supervision. Although technologically challenged himself, he is happy to utilise the skills of others.
Chris is a Consultant Paediatrician who works in a teaching hospital in Sydney and in private rooms. As well as clinical Medicine he is enthusiastic about health communication and teaching. Chris is a Conjoint Lecturer for the University of New South Wales and writes the occasional article on child health for mainstream media. He also teaches Advanced Paediatric Life Support and sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. Chris completed his Internship at Bankstown Hospital and Paediatric training through the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. On the days when he is not at work he enjoys playing with his children, and also when they play by themselves.
Final year medical Student, University of Notre Dame Sydney. Dennis has strong interests in neurology, indigenous health and medical education. He previously completed an undergraduate music degree focusing on musicology and jazz piano. In his free time, he listens to jazz and is unnecessarily passionate about rugby league and the Wests Tigers.
Duncan is a Basic Physician Trainee at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. He hopes to pursue a career combining clinical medicine, research, policy and advocacy. Duncan is passionate about health promotion and disease prevention, and providing person-centred care.
Eamon is a Registered Nurse, Assistant Professor, and Clinical Academic with the University of Canberra; and holds a Hon. Senior lecturer position with the University of Sydney When Eamon is not in the emergency department he is thinking about the ED. He is often surprised by exemplary patient care occurring in a complex environment. This neuroticism has landed him in the world of research. Studying and writing about teamwork and decision making is his therapy. His research and writing has changed clinical practice.
Elie is a Physician Trainee and Neurodegenerative Disease Fellow with the Brain and Mind Research Institute and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He is also a Clinical Lecturer with the University of Sydney and has a strong interest in medical education and research. As co-founder and chair of a hospital clinical redesign committee, Elie believes junior doctors have an important responsibility in pioneering innovation to improve the healthcare systems within which they work.
Elizabeth will work as a General Practice Registrar in 2017, after completing Residency at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Elizabeth studied Medicine at the University of Sydney, and has an undergraduate degree in classical piano from Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Her interests include General Practice, medical education, and the links between medicine and the arts.
Grace is a Senior Resident Medical Officer at Sydney Children’s Hospital who is passionate about improving education and communication within healthcare and the FOAM community. Aside from work with onthewards, Grace is involved with Don’t Forget The Bubbles and is on the organising committee for the inaugural DFTB17 conference. She is also a part of the back end of the Intensive Care Network and is on the organising committee for the Social Media and Critical Care Conference. She is a former Internal Director and Editor of the Australian Medical Student Journal. In her free time she loves travelling, board games, graphic design and good food.
BSC (PSYCH), MBBS, ORANGE HEALTH SERVICE
Jemma is a junior doctor currently working in Paediatrics at Orange Health Service, in rural NSW. Originally from Perth, she decided to make the big move to the country this year and has absolutely no regrets. She loves working with kids and has further interests in leadership in medicine, junior doctor welfare and medical education. Jemma completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology prior to medical school and currently sits on the Doctors in Training Advisory Council with Avant Mutual Group. She loves to travel and consequently, is frequently asked by people whether she actually holds down a full time job.
Jenny is a Basic Physician Trainee with Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and a Clinical Lecturer with the University of Sydney. With a PhD in medical oncology, she is passionate about research and its application to patient care. She also has a strong interest in medical education and has been an active tutor of medical students in both university and clinical settings for the past decade.
Ken Liu did his internship, residency and basic physician’s training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney and went on to complete Gastroenterology advanced training at Concord Hospital, Sydney. After deciding to subspecialise in Hepatology, Ken returned to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital as the Liver Transplant Fellow in 2015. In 2016, he spent a year overseas as the Hepatology Fellow at the Institute of Digestive Disease, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is currently completing a PhD at the Centenary Institute, Sydney. Ken has authored or coauthored over 20 papers in the field of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and presented his research at major international conferences. He also has a passion for teaching medical students and junior medical officers and has twice won the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Registrar Teacher of the Year award.
Medical Registrar at Royal North Shore Hospital. Linda is passionate about medical education and believes in fostering an open supportive culture for junior doctors. She also has a special interest in endocrinology and related research. Ironically, in her spare time she enjoys baking goods of not unsubstantial calorie content.
A medical student at the University of Sydney, Lise has been an avid listener of onthewards and recently joined the team to assist with digital formatting and content. She is a clinical medicine addict and is always looking for an opportunity to be immersed in the hospital environment. Lise has a keen interest in medical education and currently teaches Anatomy to first year medical students.
Nathan is a Resident at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and plans to pursue Basic Physician Training. Aside from internal medicine, Nathans’s professional interests include IT, Health Informatics and medical education. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, travel and cooking.
Nhi Nguyen is a Staff Specialist in the Department of Intensive Care Medicine and Co-Director of Prevocational Training and Education at Nepean Hospital. Nhi provides advice on the antenatal and peripartum management of pregnant patients with medical problems and has an interest in the critically ill obstetric patient.
Resident at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. Nick has a background in organic chemistry and biochemistry. Nick is keen to pursue the physician training pathway and has particular interests in gastroenterology, endocrinology and medical education.
Paul is a Respiratory & Sleep Physician and Network Director of Physician Training at the Prince of Wales Hospital. He has had a long involvement in prevocational and undergraduate medical education. Paul has interests in the formulation of educational programs, presentation skills, delivering best evidence based-practice to the ward, as well as change methodology. He is also a strong advocate for work life balance and has been looking at the prevention and management of junior doctor burnout and programs to promote resilience.
Sam is a 4th year post-graduate medical student of the University of Notre Dame, currently based in Melbourne, Victoria. Following graduation from Biomedical science degree he worked for The Critical Care Research Group in Brisbane, Queensland, with a focus on animal models of disease. Sam is currently completing his medical degree project on substance misuse and is interested in pain management and palliative care.
A Critical Care Senior Resident Medical Officer at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sam has a background in Anatomy, Neurosciences and Political Science. He has a keen interest in Intensive Care, Tropical Medicine and Public Health and previously pursued these interests through overseas placements in Cuba and Papua New Guinea. In addition to work at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sam continues his studies in Public Health and Tropical Medicine through a Masters program at James Cook University.
Sarah is a Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead as well as Clinical Lead at the Agency for Clinical Innovation in NSW. She is President for the Division of Paediatrics and Child Health at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and holds a Masters in Applied Management in Health.
Sarah has a long-standing interest in trainee development, and is a strong advocate for improving Quality and Safety in Healthcare. She has a particular interest in clinicians leading change and has completed a Fulbright Scholarship to evaluate Clinical Leadership Development Programs in the United States.
Tom is a dual trainee in intensive care and emergency medicine. With a background in biochemistry and the basic clinical sciences, he has an approach to teaching focuses on understanding from first principles.
Amelia Smyth is a second year Registered Nurse, currently employed as an Emergency Nurse in Melbourne, Victoria. Before contemplating a career in nursing Amelia worked as both a Mine-site Paramedic in remote WA, and an Ambulance Paramedic in Victoria. Amelia has keen interest in emergency medicine, and is ceaselessly fascinated by the compensatory mechanisms of the human body – especially when in an acute state of physiological and/or mental distress. When not at work, Amelia enjoys time in the sun listening to podcasts with her cattle dog Judy.
Emily Nash is a Basic Physician Trainee at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Clinical Associate Lecturer at the University of Sydney. Emily’s interests include teaching of medical students and junior doctors, as well as quality improvement in health care.
Jess Tidswell is an Emergency Registrar, currently working in the Top End, at Royal Darwin Hospital’s Emergency department. She started her training in her home town of Adelaide, at the University of Adelaide, completing her undergraduate degree in 2012. Jess then interned at the the Royal Adelaide Hospital, before heading north to work in the Northern Territory. For the past few years Jess has worked in a variety of areas of the Royal Darwin Hospital and the Top End, including remote communities. She committed to Emergency training last year and plans to continue her training in the Top End, where she finds the work fascinating, the people diverse and the lifestyle enjoyable.
Laura is a Basic Physician Trainee at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and currently preparing to undertake the RACP examinations in 2017. She has a passionate interest in medical education, having co-ordinated the resident teaching program for medical students at RPA hospital in 2015, and with many years of experience teaching and mentoring medical students. She is currently completing a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology through the University of Sydney. In the future, she hopes to spend some time in rural Australia training in internal medicine and working with indigenous and remote communities.
Royal North Shore Hospital NSW
Martin is a junior doctor with a passion for digital health, who has worked with multiple health-tech startups and the Australian Digital Health Agency. After completing his internship and residency at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Martin was awarded a John Monash Scholarship to undertake a Masters in Clinical Informatics at Stanford University. He will ultimately return to Australia and continue physicians training.
Heart of Australia
Heart of Australia is the brainchild of Brisbane cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes, a father of three and the principal of Medihearts – his established private cardiology practice in Brisbane.
Rolf comes from a family of 3 siblings (initially 4 siblings prior to the death of his eldest brother at the age of 5). Rolf was born in Calcutta and came to Australia at the age of 9 with his parents. From very humble beginnings Rolf later graduated from Electrical Engineering and worked for 2 years as an Electrical Engineer for a petro chemical company. He then left a good job to pursue a career in medicine because….as he would say…. “I just wanted to be in a job where I was chatting to people all day and at the same time doing something useful with my life”. So he went back to wiping down coffee tables for another four years and eventually graduated from Medicine….and later Cardiology.
Rolf was instantly attracted to Cardiology because ….. “in essence…the heart is just like a pump….it’s got plumbing, valves and electrics……also….obstetrics scared the hell out of me and the other stuff was just too hard!”
Rolf recognised early what might be possible by mobilising healthcare technology. Perhaps this was his Engineering background resurfacing….by combining the dictum of medicine which is to “prolong life and ease suffering“ with the mantra of engineers which is to “make things happen”, and with the aid of like-minded organisations and colleagues, Rolf was finally able to realise his vision – to bring services….many which people in the city take for granted….to the bush.
Close to 6 years after taking the first step…..and going down many dry gullies….on the 3rd of October 2014 Heart of Australia was launched. What has been achieved since is nothing short of amazing.
UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE
Sophie Collins is a fifth-year medical student at the University of Newcastle who cites the annual MedRevue and her rural and outreach experience as the highlights of her medical school journey thus far. She is passionate about paediatrics, Indigenous health, primary care, and remaining firmly undecided re: her future specialty. Outside of medicine she loves music and chocolate. Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiembc
Resident at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Talila has a Bachelor degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Sydney in addition to a Bachelor of Science in which she majored in psychology. Talila has two children and was the only Indigenous graduate in the class of 2016 in the Sydney Medical Program. During her undergraduate years Talila worked in the Faculty of Economics and Business at Sydney University, The Garvan Institute and Moreton Consulting. Talila is passionate about Indigenous social justice, health care education, being a mum and cooking.