Old Boy Shamus Mofatt was recently stranded in Peru!

Old Boys

Old Boy Shamus Mofatt was recently stranded in Peru!

Old Boy Shamus Moffatt stuck in Peru with fellow students

Old Boy Shamus Moffatt (2008-12) standing on the far left, shares his story about life after school.

After leaving Palmerston North Boys High School in 2012, I went to the University of Otago where I completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Neuroscience. Following the completion of my BSc, I applied for a place in Otago Medical School, and am now completing my final year of the medical degree.

In my fifth year of medical school in 2019, I was accepted into the Rural Medicine Immersion Programme and spent a year in the Wairarapa learning and working at the hospital and general practices. Throughout my university education, I returned home every summer to visit family and friends and stock shelves at Pioneer New World. I am now in my sixth and final year of Medical School and recently, my studies have seen me return home to work in surgery, psychiatry, and paediatrics at Palmerston North Hospital.

In our final year, we have the opportunity to complete a 12-week elective where we are able to travel overseas and experience the medical environment in specialties and hospitals of our choice. I decided to travel to Peru in South America to learn Spanish and work in the hospitals there. Peru, while it lasted, was fantastic. The people are friendly, the food is delicious and the medicine is interesting. They have a very different burden of disease to what we see here in New Zealand, with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and various parasitic diseases predominating.

My elective became an even more interesting and infectious experience with the official announcement of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. The elective ended early when the country began mandatory quarantine. 29 días inside with my host familia, my Español definitely improved. However, with no clarity regarding international travel, I was stuck. After much uncertainty and apprehension, I managed to get on a mercy flight home and am now in isolation in Auckland.

Click here to view the article about Shamus and his fellow doctors being stranded in Peru.