What do you love most about your job?
So many things! The team work required in the hospital can be huge at times and when it all comes together and patients do well it’s very satisfying. Your day can involve a wide range of pathologies, anatomy, surgical challenges, surgical implants, surgical techniques, biomechanics and basic sciences meaning there is always something new to learn or skill to develop.
Remembering back to your first few weeks working in the hospital, what was it like? Did it meet your expectations?
I was grateful for the support of my registrar and consultant. I also recall learning a lot from the nurses, they are really helpful when they realise you are just starting out. It was challenging on many levels, working with sick and sometimes dying patients. Learning how to deal with this side of medicine takes time and guidance from colleagues. When you start out I think senior staff seem almost cold and insensitive to all of the sad/challenging stuff, but as you learn you develop skills to be efficient with your emotions and become more effective in practice and realise your seniors really care too, they just express it in their work.
Why did you pick the specialty you did & what’s it like being part of a training programme?
Orthopaedics has a huge scope and on a daily basis I get to look after a full range of people from paediatrics to geriatrics and everyone in between.
Specialty training is an absolute privilege and a pleasure when things are ticking along as they should. However, it is also testing, demanding, tiring and stressful, and in addition, it also falls at a very busy stage of life.
There is precious balance between service provision, training and fatigue in our working lives as training specialists. STONZ for me provides an avenue to find and protect this balance and make sure training as a specialist in New Zealand is the privilege and pleasure it should be and not a painful and tiring process that I have seen it become for some of my colleagues.