ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
Each morning at the Betoota Polytechnic Medical School (BPMS), the students there stand at attention before a lifesize photograph of The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister For Health – and recite the Med Students’ Creed:
This is my stethoscope. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My stethoscope is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
Without me, my stethoscope is useless. Without my stethoscope, I am useless. I must use my stethoscope true. I must listen to heartbeat straighter than the malpractice board who is trying to take my stethoscope. I must do this him before he does me.
But this morning, one student was asked to step outside while the creed was being said.
Tatum Bartram, who’s just started her penultimate years of undergraduate medical student, forgot her stethoscope this morning – meaning she might as well be a ‘smelly Arts student’ according to herself.
“I can’t believe I’ve done this,” she said.
“How are people supposed to know I study medicine if I’m not wearing my stethoscope? People might think I’m a nurse, I don’t know which is worse,”
“The price for forgetting your stetho[scope] as a med student at Betoota Polytechnic is huge and I’ll never play so hard and fast with my future again.”
Ms Bartram’s sentiments were echoed by the Head of Medicine a BPMS, Janine Crawford, who took time out of her busy morning to both throw her support behind young Tatum and outline just how important a stethoscope is to a medical student’s identity.
“They’re very important,” she said.
“Even though there’s many other more modern, more reliable ways to detect a heartbeat and listen to people cough, the stethoscope will always be needed. It doesn’t need power to work and the tech behind it is hundreds of years old,”
“To forget or lose your stethoscope as a med student is a cardinal sin. Tatum will be punished for this rare misstep and then we will move on.”
More to come.