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Down Under: confessions of a vagrant registrar
  1. Christopher James Carswell
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christopher James Carswell, Department of Neurology, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF, UK; mrcarswell{at}

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While working at Queen Square as a neurology trainee in 2013, I became friends with a number of Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists (ANZAN) Fellows who, over the year, convinced me (and my wife) that everything was hotter, calmer, more lucrative and generally more pleasing on the other side of the globe. When the opportunity came to apply for one of the new ABN Australasian Fellowships—sending registrars into Australasia for an accredited year of training—I jumped at the chance! After a successful interview, and 6 months of paperwork which left me with an odd patchy kind of alopecia, I found myself Bermuda-short clad leaving a gloomy London in January, looking forward to a year of endless summer beach-bathing.

When we arrived in Sydney, things were indeed very different from home: the summer days were long and dry and our new rental flat had a wonderful bay view (figure 1) and outdoor pool. We also seemingly had exchanged our local London fox for a Pixar-cute possum, a lowly house spider for an intimidating funnel web and our usual garden sparrows for a pair of colourful and characterful lorikeets (figure 1). Some things remain the same everywhere and the ‘emergency department’ (ED) (Engl. Trans. Accident and Emergency) of the esteemed Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) (figure 1) soon presented me with much the same pathologies from similar pedigrees as at home. In Australia, however, there has never been a distinction between neurology and …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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