New Zealand #1

Posted by Rachel Underhill


It is crazy to think that I’ve been in New Zealand for exactly four weeks, with only another four to go! The time has certainly flown by already! So what have I done so far? Quite a lot I’d say …

The main purpose of our medical elective is to experience how medicine is practised worldwide, to see how it varies from the UK and also to spend time in an area which interests us. Personally, I’ve always been into my sport, and sports medicine is something which is really taking off in the UK. So I thought I’d use the time to gain some experience in that.

I have been very very fortunate with getting such an amazing placement! Some luck, combined with being very organised meant that I landed a six week placement with the team doctors for The Blues, a Super Rugby team based in Auckland! I don’t think elective placements get much better than that.

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What does it entail? Firstly a lot of learning! My anatomy knowledge and joint examinations were pretty basic when I arrived, so I spent the first few weeks trying to learn the basics. Which hopefully I’ve just about mastered! Luckily the team doctor is very nice and doesn’t expect too much from me. A typical day involves examining injured players, dealing with any of their medical problems and then getting to watch them train. A hard life ey?!

The best part of it all; definitely match day!! The team doctor has been incredible in getting me a pitch side pass, which means that last week I got the watch them play at the legendary Eden Park whilst sat on the team bench. Standing on the grass at Eden park watching the teams warm up; it certainly was an experience I won’t forget! Fortunately for me the last week I’m with them ends in another home game, so it should be a great end to an unbelievable placement.

If the placement wasn’t exciting enough, we’ve managed to fit in a fair amount of exploring too. The first weekend we were here we went to the Bay of Islands, a beautiful coastal region that NZ blog 1 - 2had so many stunning beaches. Add in some glorious sunshine and it was pretty ideal.

Exploring Auckland has also kept us pretty entertained. Built on volcanic ground, there are a lot of great hills to walk up, with incredible views of the city. We’ve visited several places around Auckland itself too, including Waiheke Island, infamous for its vineyards (the wine certainly did not disappoint). And this weekend we’ve got a big road trip planned: Lake Taupo, Rotorua and a sky dive!! So watch out for #2 …

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