Locums for a Small World Blog

Locum tenens doctor 'tossed by the wind' in New Zealand & Oz

Posted by Saralynn White

Dr. Steven Vilter's passion for the Land Down Under
is evident in the photos he takes and the stories that accompany them.
Here's his latest dispatch:

Hello Everyone!

We finally made it out to Tiri Tiri Matangi Island (an open nature and conservation reserve), which has been cleared off and grazed for 130 years. The expectation was that the native bush on the island would regenerate, but by the mid-80's it became evident that wasn't happening. A grassroots campaign to replant the island and clear it of pcaribbean blue water bay 123rfests ensued. Now, several endangered species have been reintroduced and are thriving,
and this peace of heaven has been declared pest free. (Note: Tiri Tiri is a Maori name that means "tossed by the wind" and the mythology says the island is a remnant of an ancestral fishing net.)

Usually, when the Department of Conservation (DOC) clears an island and reintroduces endangered species, the public is excluded. But as this island was cleared by the public, 120 people a day can visit on Wednesdays through Sundays (catch a ferry from Gulf Harbour or downtown Auckland).

australia uluru sunset thinkstockI visited Ayers Rock (Uluru) in Australia some
30 years ago and, as luck would have it, I was able to make it back on this trip. It is still powerful. We spent three days, did a bit of walking, and spent most sunrises and sunsets watching the rock change moods and colors.

When I was here before, Ayers was administered by the National Park System. Since then, the land has been returned to the Aboriginal tribes of the area. Climbing to the summit used to be the thing to do, but the the peak is a culturally sensitive area, so the tribes now ask you not to hike.

Similarly, places around the base are now off limits. Some 30 years ago, it was a bit of a camping free-for-all. In 1985, however, that was eliminated and campers were redirected to the newly built Ayers Rock Resort 10 kilometers away (though some camping can still be done in designated areas). The restaurants at the resort serve Emu, Kangaroo, and Crocodile. I recommend the "bush tucker, hold the witchity grubs" (they'll know what you're talking about). After visiting Ayers, it was back to Brisbane to prepare for our upcoming Outback Adventure.

australia newcastle bridge 123rfWe spent a few more days than expected, which gave us time to see the city. We were able to wander through the botanical gardens and got out on the river on the CityCat Ferry. Several bridges cross the river, the most famous and attractive being the Story Bridge. There are some great places to eat fresh seafood, and some elegant Bed and Breakfasts that might need our attention next time. Now we're off to the West, and very much looking forward to our "walk about" in Australia's famous Outback. Cheers!

A GP from Alaska, USA, Dr. Steve Vilter is an avid biker, boater and one terrific correspondent. He and his wife have extended their locum tenens stay, apparently to do a walkabout, eat fresh seafood and try some B&Bs. Keep coming back for further installments from the good doctor. Or better yet, subscribe to this blog and get weekly updates sent right to your inbox.

Topics: Dr. Steven Vilter, Brisbane AU, Ayers Rock Resort AU, Locum Tenens, New Zealand

The daily concert outside my window

Posted by Saralynn White

Written by Elma Johnson, MD 

australia tasmania park 123rfTo say that I have itchy feet is an understatement as travel has always been my biggest hobby. Growing up in the Caribbean, I have always had a strong curiosity about different countries and cultures. Living in New York for the past 20 years has further fueled my curiosity. Australia just happened to be one of those countries that grabbed my interest.

Living on the coast reminded me of being in the Caribbean; beautiful scenery - with ocean on one side and mountains on the other. The people were very nice, met some global travelers like myself and was made to feel welcome and at home. Australia is amazing, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. Speaking of which, I was constantly amused by the craziest and funniest bird sounds that I have ever heard. There was a daily concert outside of my window.

bird-on-stick-australiaMy hospital was approx 45 minutes from Brisbane, which was perfect for me. It was fairly busy with lots of good medical cases. There was quite a bit of minor trauma with a few major trauma cases and my training in NY more than prepared me for this. I also learned a few things while there so it was a very good exchange. The workload was definitely manageable as I was coming from a very busy urban hospital.

My experience in Australia both as a physician and traveler was one of the best that I have ever had. Will I consider returning? Absolutely. I'm planning on it. I now keep telling some of my colleagues that a sabbatical down under is something that they need to do at least once.

Elma Johnson, MD is an Emergency Physician from Brooklyn, New York, USA, whose itchy feet never let up. Expect to see more dispatches from her locum travels right here.

Topics: Birdwatching, Caribbean, Dr. Elma Johnson, Brisbane AU, Locum Tenens

Locums for a Small World Blog

Twice a month, our inquisitive locum tenens community asks us to tackle topics ranging from cuisine and culture to recreation and entertainment. We also include great storytelling from our doctors. Have a topic you’d like to read about? Let us know.

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