"I have always wanted to pursue a career in medicine as a means of learning about people. I love the concept of coming across people from all walks of life and being able to help them achieve their greatest levels of wellbeing and potential.
I think it is important to remain focused on the everyday experiences in life that will help us to become engaging and empathetic doctors. This has really helped me to put the (sometimes overwhelming!) burden of study into perspective, and reminded me to continue throwing myself into new and challenging experiences with a variety of different people, often outside of the medical world.
Between an undergraduate Bachelor of Biomedicine and post-graduate MD, I undertook an Honours research year. I was lucky to be able to work with the Pneumococcal Research Group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics.
I was fortunate to work on two projects. The first involved helping with the set-up of a cohort study in Hanoi, Vietnam to investigate the effects of malnutrition on responses to the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).
The second involved me performing an analysis investigating which factors predicted poor responses to the PCV in a group of infants from Fiji. The results from the latter project formed the content of my thesis.
The most valuable lesson I learnt was despite the challenges associated with conducting research in the global health context, I find the work to be stimulating and meaningful. I want to pair this research with my clinical work wherever possible as I progress through my career.
I hope that in pairing paediatric global health research with my work as a clinician, I can help bridge the gap that often exists between science and patients. My hope is that I can contribute a lasting and meaningful benefit to the patients I treat as well as those that I reach through my research, particularly in the field of Indigenous Australian health and wellbeing."