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Fourth year exercise science student Heather Martin went on a four week placement to Mumbai. Read all about her adventures here.

During July I had the amazing chance to do a four week Exercise Science internship through Salt Health Solutions. We were placed at an Orthopaedic hospital in Mumbai, India called SportsMed Mumbai. In the July group there were two exercise science students and four osteopath students. We worked as team and collaborated with the local physiotherapist and orthopaedic surgeons to treat musculoskeletal pain. Patients were assessed to determine the cause of the pain and best treatment options for them. My role as an exercise science student was to assist in finding strengthening, stabilising and stretching exercises to both treat the patient and to solidify osteopathic treatments.

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I learnt so much from everyone involved about assessing patients, communication, cultural considerations, hospitals, myself as a practitioner and a million things more. I was able to experience unbelievable things that I never thought possible like watching live orthopaedic surgeries performed by world class surgeons. I observed and learnt orthopaedic, osteopathic and physiotherapist assessments techniques, learnt post-surgery rehabilitation protocols and learnt the impact culture can have on an individual’s treatment and rehabilitation.

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Since coming home I have come to really miss the amazing people I met; the most genuinely nice and humble orthopaedic surgeons ever, the beautiful physiotherapists and all the amazing staff at SportsMed, Mumbai. I miss the amazing friends I spent the month living and working with from universities around Australia. I miss the delicious homemade Indian lunches at SportsMed, and the great chai tea for afternoon tea. I miss the luxuries and lovely staff at the Four Seasons hotel and the huge buffet breakfast. I miss the chance to both be a local and a tourist around India.

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But mostly I miss my patients; the amazing, beautiful people whom I had the wonderful chance to treat and help improve their quality of life! I miss the young girl who called me ‘Didi’- hindi for big sister. I miss the middle-aged man who after only two osteopathic treatments and detailed exercise program can now perform activities of daily living he couldn’t previously. I miss the young women who was so apprehensive when we first met, she struggled with seated exercises but by the time we left was aceing single leg exercises. I miss the chance to make a difference to their lives and more.

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Mostly I am excited; I am excited to use the experience I had and the skills I learnt in this month to help people. I am excited to continue to develop as a practitioner. I am excited about the rest of my studies and my career. If I continue to meet fantastic people like I did in India, I know that I am set to love the rest of my working life.