Ok, time for a rant.
I went to a meeting. It was a meeting and discussion on Close the Gap Day. We had a great speaker who was very down to earth and gave simple, practical things we could do to when we dealt with indigenous patients.  She had a sense of purpose, of hope that it could be done better through co-operation.

So then we went onto discuss how come there were, out of nearly 300 students, less than 20 showed up, and how we could try to improve the teaching of cultural awareness.  And this is where it gets annoying. As in almost all semi politcal ideological groups I’ve found myself in, most everyone there was more concerned with slapping each other on the back for being enlightened and slamming the establishment, and the others for not.
What annoyed the bollocks out of me was that a friend of mine and I proposed some changes to how it could be taught – simple things like a more positive, co-operative tone; as opposed to the ‘us-them’ dichotomy that we were hit with and the very confrontational ‘blaming’.  and about half the group pounced as if we were anti-aboriginals.  They threw up totally spurious straw man arguements like – well I was all inspired so you obviously must be wrong.  But what they in their blinkered chuckleheadedness fail to realise is that I’m not saying that no-one got something out of it, just that many did not and perhaps that we could reshape it so that more people were eager to do something.  I mean come on, I came in, on my holidays to attend a meeting on close the gap day, as if I’m anti.  Face it, those who got something out of it as it was, probably would have gotten something out of it regardless.

Not everyone is going to be a cardcarrying idealogue, not everyone will be inspired to be a champion of  these issues.  Some of the people at the meeting will be and great for them.  But what I’m eager to see is that people, us as potential future doctors, are sensitive to the issues and know how to access  help to ease the process of getting healthcare to indigenous Australians.  It’s progress if, in the future, we have an indigenous patient and we have the thought to contact the liason officers to help ease the process a bit, if we take a bit more time to listen and explain.

If we could stop congratulating ourselves on being teh awesome and actually think about what we can do to make a difference that would be great.

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