In which specific subtype of clinical hypoxia is there an increase in the PO2 (partial pressure of oxygen) of venous blood compared to normal? *

This was one of the questions asked of more than 80 students from around Australia who participated in an important new teaching initiative at UNSW – the inaugural Australian Physiology Competition for Medicine and Medical Science students.

Physiology is a key discipline in the study of medicine and medical science, with its focus on understanding how our different body systems work.

A group of physiology students were inspired to launch the Australian event following their participation in the International Medical Schools Physiology Quiz in Malaysia last year and worked alongside academics from the Department of Physiology to bring their vision to fruition late last month.

“The Australian Physiology Competition is a fantastic way to inspire students from across the country to develop a deeper learning in our important discipline, which underpins the study of science,” said Head of Teaching in the Department of Physiology, UNSW Associate Professor Andrew Moorhouse.

“Our student partners did a great job in running this national competition, and we hope it grows from strength to strength over the coming years.”

Chair of the student organising committee, UNSW medical student Hyerim Suh said: “The quiz was a fantastic day with students from afar as Melbourne and Adelaide coming to UNSW to mingle with local students and to learn Physiology together in this fun environment.

“We thank our sponsors, members of our organising team, the Physiology academics and the many volunteers who made the day such a success. We were especially pleased to have Professor Hwee Ming Cheng, the chair of the International Physiology Quiz, attend on the day.”

A University of Sydney team came first in the team oral quiz and in the written individual exam.

The organising committee hope the Australian Physiology Competition will become a regular event on the University’s education calendar.

The team who participated in the Malaysian competition were Saimurooban Muralidaran, Melanie Lim, Hyerim Suh, Kajanan Parameshwaran and Manjekah Dunn.

* If you are considering whether you have what it takes to compete in the Quiz, the answer to the above question is Histotoxic or Metabolic Hypoxia.