I worked in India. And then did an elective in Papua New Guinea. The next place I went to was in New Guinea again, in Bougainville. Then I worked several places in Indonesia, mostly east Indonesia. I did a couple of locums for International SOS in Beijing. Then was country medical director for them in Nigeria. The variety and scope of the medicine you see is fantastic. Working in Bougainville, when I was there, that would’ve been like being a country GP in Australia 70 years ago. You would just do everything — caesarean sections, minor operations. We had a proper Australian-trained expatriate surgeon, but he was far too busy at the public hospital to be bothered with appendectomies or any of that stuff. That was left to us to deal with. I’ve still got itchy feet. My problem is I had a serious motorcycle accident three years ago. I have difficulty walking now. While my feet itch, I have trouble getting them to move around the place.

Dr Patrick O’Neill
Brisbane, Qld