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Words of wisdom from our medicine and health alumni

2 May 2022

Medicine and Health Alumni pass on valuable advice

As a new cohort of medicine and health professionals graduate and enter the workforce, we asked our alumni to reflect on their university experiences and pass on a word of wisdom to the class of 2022.

Jonathan Moody

From living at Auburn nurses’ quarters above a morgue to managing a business with over 350 staff, Jonathan Moody remains a student of life.

University taught me that it isn't about the content of what we are learning, but how to learn and how to create good habits to become a lifelong learner. That was the secret that I discovered at Sydney uni. Ever since, I have been an avid reader and student of life.”

Whilst studying a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) at Cumberland, he seized any and all opportunities to get involved in uni life and meet other people.

“I immersed myself in as many things as I could when I went.  I got involved in uni games, was on the SRC and generally got really involved in all campus activities. Being able to embrace the holistic nature of what university life was about was great. I probably indulged a little too much in the extracurricular activities and my studies suffered...”

Now, despite all his success as founder and CEO of Physio Inq and his recent naming as one of Australia's top business entrepreneurs, he emphasises the 'normality of life as a business owner'. He believes many people overcomplicate business and health, and that it comes down to taking the time to understand others and build relationships.

“My greatest achievement is loving what I do and being able to create an environment at work that allows others around me to be themselves, to make mistakes and learn their own lessons along the way. I love what I do and that's my greatest achievement.”

"Explore lots of different areas of health. Volunteer if needed, talk to lots of your friends about their roles, but always know that the grass is greener where you make it.

You can influence your own workplace from within through relentless positivity and communicating with your colleagues and managers about proactive things that can help patients, co-workers and the business or organisation in general.

Additionally, make sure that you take time out and have balance. Health care can be exhausting, so have time to yourself, take time out with your family and friends and de stress."

 

Dr Katherine Rae

Since beginning a medical degree at Sydney Uni, Dr Katherine Rae has spent much of her time on the sports field, competing, training and working.

"My involvement in Sydney Uni sport began in my first year at Uni when I decided to go to Athletics IV in April in Melbourne. I was totally unfit but had such a great time, I went every year after."

From her first year with Sydney Uni Sport, Katherine's passion for the club never wavered. She held the role of club president for 7 years, had roles on various SUWSA committees, worked hard to successfully form SUAC and last year became one of the Athletics Club representatives on the Sydney Uni Clubs Advisory Committee.

"My Athletics highlights would have to include the 10 track and field and Cross Country intervarsity/Australian Uni Games I attended, including leading the Sydney Uni team as Female Team Captain to victory at the Australia Uni Games in Darwin in 1995. We had two wonderful trips to compete in Fiji and Tonga which were also a fantastic experience. "

Life on the field translated into a career as a sports medicine doctor, having started working on campus in the Sports Clinic in 2000 as a registrar and continuing to this day. Katherine has been doctor to the Sydney Uni Flames in the National Basketball League since 2003 and looked after the Sydney Sandpipers in the National Netball team in 2001 and 2003.

When asked about her greatest achievements says "obviously saving two lives in the sports field – an athlete with a cardiac arrest and a rugby player with a tension pneumothorax" but otherwise "working with Sydney Uni Rugby for 19 years as their team doctor, winning 7 first grade premierships with them through pregnancies and the young lives of my four children."

Named rugby's Players Player in 2003, receiving college medal for the ACSEP Fellowship exam and honoured with two Gold Awards for Service, Katherine's list of achievements continues to this day,  recently awarded an honorary doctorate at the university.

"Do what makes you happy, do something where you feel you make a difference to people.

A medical career is a very rewarding career to have and it is so varied in the different paths you can choose to take that it can suit all types of personalities and interests. You just need to care about others."

Daniel McCluskie

Daniel McCluskie

As a member of the final cohort to complete the Bachelor of Nursing at the Cumberland Campus, Daniel has fond memories of learning in wet labs and with students studying other health degrees.

"It was great to have our anatomy and physiology lectures shared with other health science programs such as Physiotherapy, Sports Science, Occupational Therapy and the like. This extended to undertaking wet labs and learning on the cadaver models."

Now, working as a Director at KMPG consulting in the health industry, Daniel reflects on how his time at university shaped his career.

"My Bachelor of Nursing gave me a well-rounded knowledge from patient care, through to basics of social theory. I’ve been fortunate to be able to take what I learnt, both in lectures and on placements during my nursing degree, and aspects of my clinical practice to now working on larger scale programs and projects that have the capability of improving healthcare outcomes for a great number of people." 

Driven by his desire to help people and inspired by those closest to him, Daniel has had a great deal of success but says his greatest achievements are those that positively impact others:

"The greatest achievement in my career (and one I think is common across the health sector) is that I have been able to have direct and indirect impacts on those in our communities, working to improve quality of life and wellbeing."

"Whether it is a finishing a shift in ICU knowing that you have done your best caring for the patient and their loved ones, supporting the nurses on the ward you manage to deliver the best care they can, or leading the implementation of an electronic medication management system that significantly reduces the risk of medication errors and adverse events."

"All are great achievements, with meaningful impact, it’s just a matter of scale." 

"1. Although it may seem like it, you don’t need to know everything. What you do need to know is where to find the answer and more importantly, when and how to ask for help. 

2. That there is immense responsibility in nursing. You bare witness to human beings at their most vulnerable. From extreme love to the palpable, raw and total heartbreak when people lose someone they love. As a profession, we should never take this for granted.

3. Sometimes doing less is doing more. Recognising when intervention is futile, doing nothing more than making a cup of tea, holding a hand or spending a last quiet moment with a patient or their loved one is the care that is needed. This is the true art of nursing."