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Review: Medivention Tendon Hammer


UPDATE: Medivention tendon hammer can be purchased directly in Australia from the University of New South Wales’ Medsoc Bookshop. More information here

The Medivention tendon hammer is a compact tool that fits easily into any pocket. Once extended, the hammer operates and feels similarly to any other tendon hammer with the rubber head having a nice weighted feel. Unfortunately the extendable nature of the shaft means it doesn’t feel as robust as say a non-extendable metal shaft, however this is a small payoff for something that is extremely portable. Indeed you shouldn’t be hitting the patient so hard that this would ever be a problem, although clearly the tester was not able to test the long term durability of the extendable shaft.

Don’t make the same mistake the reader did – a collar locking mechanism prevents the head snapping back too easily in the parallel plane of the shaft. Without utilising this mechanism the head snaps back too easily whilst using the hammer clinically.

So in all, the Medivention tendon hammer is a tendon hammer that fulfils all the requirements necessary of the tool with all the added benefits of portability. Anyone who uses a tendon hammer regularly on the wards should consider this alternative.

For more details on the Medivention tendon hammer, click here.

This product was reviewed by Timothy Martin, Monash University.

PRESS RELEASE: Sexual misconduct a barrier to ensuring gender equality for future doctors

Media Release | 12 March 2015

The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) stands strongly in support of gender equality in the medical profession in light of recent reports of sexual harassment among doctors.

AMSA President, James Lawler, said today that the medical profession was founded on principles of respect and integrity, but the current culture does not appear to be upholding these values between male and female doctors.

“The discussion has centred on whether to report inappropriate behaviour and how well reporting structures have handled it,” Mr Lawler said.

“Sadly, this is missing the main point – which is that this harassment is occurring at all.”

Maria Bilal, the AMSA representative to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Women in Surgery Committee, said there is an urgent need to work on improving the gender divide in surgery.

“Evidence shows that, despite increased participation from females in the medical workforce, women are still under-represented in the upper tiers of leadership,” Ms Bilal said.

“Ensuring that female trainees have strong, supportive role models remains a challenge.

“Women in the medical profession, especially junior doctors, suffer from poorer mental health than men, with sexual misconduct a factor. It is essential that sexual misconduct, bullying, and other inappropriate behaviours are properly dealt with.

“Gender should not affect the way in which individuals progress their career – we need to foster a supportive system that allows trainees to thrive without the prospect of harassment.

“A true cultural shift requires effort from all stakeholders, especially males in leadership positions.

“As the new generation of doctors, medical students are committed to ensure that there is a change – beginning with a strong culture of transparency and accountability.”

AMSA will work with the AMA and the Colleges to develop a sustained, coordinated national response to address these issues.

Media Contact

James Lawler
0432 396 979

Follow AMSA on Twitter.

Press Release: Medical students concerned about Transforming Health proposals from SA Government

Media Release | 06 March 2015

The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) expresses grave concern at the South Australian Government’s ‘Transforming Health’ proposals.

Particularly troubling are suggestions the Repatriation General Hospital will be shut down and Noarlunga Emergency Department downsized.

“Medical students are concerned that these changes have been proposed without adequate and transparent consultation with the health sector”, AMSA President, James Lawler said.

Mr Lawler pointed to contrived anecdotes used to back up the proposals, saying that they were inappropriate for a discussion regarding health system reform.

“The proposals are not backed by evidence, and lack the kind of detail needed to properly access them.”

Mr Lawler was particularly concerned at the focus on cutting back essential services as a short-term money-saving measure.

“The Government’s proposals hit the vulnerable the hardest, by scaling down smaller hospitals and transferring vital emergency, rehabilitation and other services to large metropolitan hospitals.

“In life-threatening emergencies timely treatment is critical. Studies show that for every extra 10km travelled, there is a one per cent increase in patient death, so South Australians living in regional areas will be severely disadvantaged by having essential services in central Adelaide.

Mr Lawler added that in its proposal the Government appeared to have overlooked training arrangements for junior health staff, particularly doctors.

“Training future doctors in South Australia can’t be an afterthought – this should be an integral part of any health system reform.

“It looks as though these reforms will reduce internship positions, speciality training positions, and leave many medical students without an appropriate place to learn,” Mr Lawler said.

These changes are particularly worrying for medical students in SA, Flinders Medical Students’ Society President, Nicholas Stock, said “there is considerable uncertainty over placements and internships held at facilities which are on the chopping block.”

The Repatriation General Hospital (RGH) and the Noarlunga Hospital emergency department are important teaching facilities for the Doctor of Medicine course at Flinders University.

“If these changes go through, we will see further congestion of the training pipeline and fewer learning opportunities for future doctors, ultimately affecting the quality of South Australian doctors,” Mr Stock said.

AMSA calls for the South Australian Government to undertake proper consultations with health groups, and provide more details, evidence and economic modelling to support their proposals.

AMSA also urges the Government to ensure that training the future doctors of South Australia is given much greater consideration.

Media Contact
James Lawler
0432 396 979


Follow AMSA on Twitter.


INFO: Australian University applicants applying for PGY1 positions in NZ

The Advanced Choice of Employment (ACE) scheme is a collaboration of all the District Health Boards (DHBs) in New Zealand to employ first year House Officers.

Every year ACE receives submissions from Australian University applicants, and in order to assist with their application, ACE has created a dedicated page on Kiwi Health Jobs to ensure that graduates are provided with the correct information so that their application can be completed on time and without delays.

Access the Kiwi Health Jobs page here.

Applications have been open since 9am, February 16th 2015. Students will be able to create a login and begin to submit the documents required to support their application.

AMSA Blog: Asian female medical students are female medical students too

2 Women in Surgery

By Hui Ling Yeoh, Monash University

Recently, a male colleague and friend of mine was searching for a female medical student to speak about sexism in the medical workforce. He said he really wished he could ask me to speak because he knew it was an area I was passionate and thoughtful about, but he couldn’t. He explained that he couldn’t invite me on the basis that I was Asian Australian, and my ethnicity is a “confounding factor”. Were my experiences the result of sexism or racism? The distinction would be impossible to make, and it would weaken my persuasiveness with an unconvinced audience.

It surprised me that he was so unapologetic and justified about his rationale for such blatant racism. But we have all accepted and contributed to this line of assumption: That sexism happens on a blank slate, and the slate is white.

Asian medical women are very often denied their femininity and humanity.

It is no secret that the parents of ethnic minorities encourage, often vigorously, their children to enter the medical profession. This pressure is amplified for daughters. Asian parents often believe that medicine is a reliable meritocracy, where their daughters need only work hard and follow the rules to succeed. They worry that in other professions, where the battleground seems more subjective, their daughters simply won’t have the ability to compete.

Throughout medical school, it has been assumed by colleagues, patients and teachers that my motivation to be in this profession is a materialistic one.

It seems that we are only thought of in one of two ways – either as a Christina Yang or a would-be housewife.

Christina Yang is a fictional doctor from the television drama, “Grey’s Anatomy’, who is characterised by her incredible genius, highly competitive drive, disastrously poor empathy and communication skills with patients, and romantic conflicts due to her lack of desire for children. I have often wondered whether Caucasian women face this stereotype, or do we just assume that Caucasians simply have an inherent charm and natural joie de vivre?

The flip side is the assumption that Asian women see this degree as a dating pool of aspiring doctors to make prosperous homes with, where our certificates will simply be nice decorations. After all, people will say, Asian cultures are more traditional (read: backward) than Western ones.

Both depictions are seen as less worthwhile, and less meaningful to those who feel entitled to judge. It’s a polarisation that happens to all women, but for Asian women, it feels like a personal attack on our cultures, which are characterised as more “materialistic”, and more mechanic. Worse, when people realise that I am more than these stereotypes, they provide the condescending reassurance: “Oh, but you are not very Asian.”

This is hurtful and unfair to me and all the Asian medical women I know who truly love what they do, and offensive to a heritage that I am proud to own.

The face of medicine is changing. Junior doctors and medical students are more culturally diverse than they have ever been.

It has taken me time to feel confident about the validity of my particular blend of experiences. I know now that I define what it means to be a medical student, a woman, an Asian, or all at once. This has given me incredible strength, but more importantly, it has also allowed me to be open fully to the complexities of other medical people too.

2 Women in Surgery HL

The Australian Federation of Medical Women seeks to ensure equity and equality for women doctors to achieve their full potential throughout all stages of their professional and personal lives. For more information, access to events, leadership development, networking and mentoring opportunities, please join your state branch at http://afmw.org.au and check out their latest newsletter here.

Hui Ling is the Co-Chair of AMSA Global Health and Monash University student representative for the Victorian Medical Women’s Society (VMWS). You can follow Hui Ling on twitter at @HuilingYeoh.

Press Release: Medical students concerned by TPPA reducing access to medications

Media Release
03 March 2015

The Australian Medical Students’ Association [AMSA] welcomes the report released by the Public Health Association of Australia [PHAA] detailing the negative impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement [TPPA] on the health of Australians.

‘The TPPA poses a significant risk to the affordability of medications and has the potential for major follow-on effects for the Australian, and global, population.’ said AMSA President, James Lawler.

‘The provisions in the TPPA may mean longer and broader monopolies on medicines and other health technologies, ultimately increasing out-of-pocket expenses for already vulnerable populations.

‘Increased cost of medicines will intensify medical non-adherence, with an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey finding 1 in 11 people delayed or did not fill a prescription due to the cost – the TPPA is a dangerous move in the wrong direction.

‘The government should be prioritising community public health needs, since equitable access to medications can have far-reaching benefits.

‘AMSA is calling upon the government to ensure that broader transparency is afforded to the Australian people, and for strong provisions to be included in the agreement which protect public health and keep medicines affordable.

‘This Health Impact Assessment has been put together by a large team of academics and non-government health organisations – AMSA urges the Government to listen to experts on public health policy.’

Mr Lawler also pointed out that medical students had taken particular interest in the negotiations and their potential impact on public and global health, to the point where Australian medical students had attended negotiations overseas.

AMSA calls on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to apply the report’s recommendations in the final days of TPPA negotiations.


Media Contact
James Lawler
0432 396 979

Follow AMSA on Twitter.

2015 Orange Guide

What’s a Convention? What Projects to AMSA run? Is the AMSA Academy and Starfleet Academy kinda the same?

More importantly, what is an AMSA?

Screenshot 2015-02-24 21.14.34Got you covered pal! AMSA’s Orange Guide was put together to provide students with a concise, 10 page introduction to the world of AMSA and everything it does as an organisation. From projects, to intiatives, to events, learn about everything AMSA has to offer to enrich your medical school life!

AMSA’s Orange Guide is available digitally here!

Alternatively, we have also produced an even shorter super-concised AMSA Orange Guide called the AMSA Mini Orange Guide, which is available here.

Have a good read and if you have anymore questions, feel free to contact the Executive directly here!

AMSA Blog: Medical indemnity insurance – It’s important to medical students and how to engage with providers

By Dr Patrick Mahar 

Medical indemnity insurance is rarely high on the list of priorities of medical students. Exams, relationships, assignments, food, money. These things tend to come first. Indemnity providers tend to provide sponsorship for events and balls during medical school but, if my experience was any example, indemnity insurance rarely rates more than a few seconds of thought beyond that. My friends are junior doctors and have letters from their indemnity providers, still in the plastic sleeves unopened, piled up on their work desks from 6-18 months ago.

The purpose of this brief piece is to suggest that, in hindsight, medical indemnity providers can and should be a serious consideration even in medical school. More than that, medical students, by virtue of being members of medical indemnity organisations, can have a significant influence on the corporate structure and function of their providers which may impact their future transition when they become junior doctors.

As a medical student my first encounter and exposure to medical indemnity organisations involved being approached by representatives from a number of providers during O-week at university. We were asked to sign up for free. Of course we did (amongst things like the Gourmet Pie Review Society (GPRS) and the Association for Feminist Marxist Vampires (AFMV)). Basically we signed up to anything that was thrust in front of our faces. Given there was no cost to myself or my friends, we signed up to four or five medical indemnity organisations at the same time.

The number of organisations we were members with dropped off substantially when we became interns and residents and were charged a fee for being involved. During internship some providers still offered indemnity insurance for free, but as time passed (as we expected eventually), we started paying premiums as our incomes increased. We had to start making decisions as to which indemnity provider to stay with. As a graduate of the combined medicine and law program, I had always taken a keen interest in the medical indemnity world.

Having medical indemnity insurance is a requirement for registration as a medical practitioner in Australia, and there are a number of factors involved in deciding who to use. Often cost is a primary determinant, but the type of services offered and the quality of that service and how it matches your needs at the various stages in your career will also need to be taken into account.

Often the importance of medical indemnity on a doctor’s career is overlooked by clinicians who, appropriately, are more concerned with their patients and career progress than the health of their insurance provider. However, medical indemnity serves more purposes than simply insuring you if and when things go wrong. Medical indemnity providers play a critical role in policy making when it comes to clinical practice, which affects doctors, both senior and junior, as well as medical students’ professional obligations. Many students and clinicians would be surprised to learn how critical the medical insurance industry is in the regulation of clinical practice (and just as importantly, acting as advocates to ensure clinical practice is not too over-regulated by third parties), and acting as a conduit for and between organisations such as the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Australian Health Practitioner Regulation agency (AHPRA), the Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA), the specialty colleges, medical schools and other stakeholders.

Engaging with your medical indemnity provider as a medical student can be of enormous importance. This is especially important where things might be going wrong, and you might be in need of consulting medicolegal support (in which case, it is often best to engage earlier rather than later).

Apart from anything else, it provides medical students the opportunity to engage with the various medical indemnity providers, to evaluate their level of service, and decide which ones are right for them before they have to ‘narrow the field’ and choose one indemnity provider as their career progresses and the stakes are raised (rather than having the luxury of four or five without any cost).

As well as this, however, medical students are members of indemnity organisations and frequently have voting entitlements as to the leadership and therefore corporate function and structure of the indemnity organisation. Over the next week, most medical students who are members will be sent a voting form for the Board of Directors for MDA National, one of the larger medical indemnity providers in Australia. No matter who you vote for, I strongly urge all medical students to take a few minutes out of their day to consider the nominees and applicants, and make their vote count, both for this electoral process and that of any other indemnity provider you are involved with in the future. The leadership of the medical indemnity providers can have an impact on the providers’ policies, which can have a flow on effect that influences medical students, and indirectly, the working lives of junior doctors, which you all will be soon.

Medical indemnity article for AMSA

Dr Patrick Mahar OAM is as a dermatology registrar and medicolegal expert. He is a graduate of the combined Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery & Bachelor of Law degrees from Monash University. He has a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Melbourne Business School, and a Doctor of Medical Science from the University of Melbourne entitled ‘Determining professional standards in the context of medical negligence, professional practice and informed consent in Victoria.’ He is currently enrolled in a PhD with Deakin University evaluating mortality outcomes in burns and burn-related diseases and is a member of the Australasian College of Legal Medicine and a committee member of the Medicolegal Society of Victoria.

He previously sat on the President’s Medical Liaison Council for MDA National from 2011-2013, and was a co-facilitator of their Medicolegal Minefield forum in 2013. He is currently a nominee for the MDA National Mutual Board of Directors in the upcoming elections managed by the Western Australian Electoral Commission

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