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Why Tropical Medicine? Postgraduate Study

I have had a long term interest in tropical medicine; it started sometime after my parents relocated to Hyderabad in central India in 1978. Very close to Hyderabad airport the building still stood (as it does today) where Sir Ronald Ross found that mosquitoes carried malaria. Later, because I was interested in the topic, I noticed that training at medical school, and also postgraduate training in Australia in my opinion could/should have covered more topics in tropical/travel medicine; at least in the diseases that Australians could present with in Australia.

I didn’t now that there was a Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (DTM&H) in Bangkok until 1992. When I found out in late 1992, without much hesitation, I sent off the application as the closing date was imminent. Communication was mainly by letter in those days. Why Thailand? Well, at the time, it seemed sensible to study Tropical Medicine in the tropics and in South-East Asia, where I hoped to work afterwards. I did my elective in Kenya in 1988, and the tropical medicine, environment and people were all great but Africa seemed too far away to work long term. After starting the course, we discovered there is an Australian connection as an Australian, Professor Brian Maegraith, Head of the Liverpool School Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, assisted in developing the curriculum for the Bangkok DTM&H when he visited in the mid 1960s.

In 1993 it was a 6 month DTM&H (March-September) and proved enjoyable & valuable (although it was a challenge to get used to weekly exams.) It did take some time before I could work in the region, but the knowledge I had learned was useful and I was able to apply it. The Bangkok School of Tropical Medicine has just celebrated their 60th anniversary.

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