Career in Medicine

I wanted to spend my days at work helping others, so that’s kind of what drew me to medicine

I also love that, each day, I’m helping people in a really vulnerable moment in their life.  

There’s lots of reasons and factors that go around, people presenting to hospital or to general practice. And I really love being someone who can facilitate, help, and aid people in their time of need.  

I think it’s so rewarding and, yeah, I really enjoy my job.

This is my first year as a postgraduate doctor after completing my medical studies. It’s typically 12 months in duration and I’m currently just having completed the third rotation of five for my internship year.

Nothing quite prepares you for the feeling and walking through the doors and knowing that, for the first time, you’re responsible for patients, that, now, you’re the doctor in charge of looking after someone. It was thoroughly exciting.

I started in the Emergency Department, which is quick-paced, seeing lots of different patients with lots of different presentations and things going on. I then went to mental health, which is obviously quite specialised, and I’ve just recently completed my surgical rotation.

So they’ve all been quite variable, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them all.

The University of Adelaide set me up entirely.

The first three years of my studies gave me a pre-clinical basis for my current practice and that involved things like biological and health sciences and, beyond that, I did a further three years of on-the-job training — essentially like an apprenticeship. It also gave me opportunities to practice my skills but, also really important to my job as a junior doctor, is communication and that was a skill that was really nurtured by the University of Adelaide and for which I’m really grateful, because it has implications for my patients and how good I am as a junior doctor.

I would really hope that, as a practitioner, I have a really big impact on my patients’ lives, individually, that they feel heard, and they feel like they can engage with the health care system or with me, as an equal.

I guess the advice that I would impart on new graduates is that it’s normal to be nervous, but it’s exciting. It’s your first opportunity to practice as a junior doctor, and look after patients who you’re responsible for, and be actively involved in their clinical care.

It’s part of a journey of lifelong learning and that’s only something that I’m still discovering as a junior doctor — that I have so much still left to learn, but it’s really exciting, and I really love my job, and I’m sure they will as well.

My name’s Ashley Twigger. I’m one of the junior doctors at  the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network and I’m currently completing my medical internship.

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