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On 14 December, 2021, the Bond University Medical Program celebrated a very significant milestone – staff, students, alumni and beaming family members watched on as the 1,000th medicine graduate crossed the stage to accept her testamur.

To celebrate this huge achievement for the Medical Program, which began in 2005, we reached out to some of the program’s standout alumni, who are working all over Australia – and the world – in a diversity of exciting and dynamic roles. Let’s meet some of our exceptional graduates and hear what they’ve been up to since completing the Bond Medical Program.

Dr Zoe Wright

Class of 2012, 2016 MBBS Valedictory Medal recipient

What have you been up to since you graduated?

After leaving medical school, I immediately started training towards being a rural generalist with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. I spent three years at Redland Hospital, where I completed my basic training, and obtained my Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia (JCCA) certificate.

What are you doing now?

For the last two years, I have been based in Warwick, a regional centre here in Queensland. I work part-time as a senior medical officer at the hospital delivering anaesthetic, emergency and inpatient services. The other half of my work is in primary care at Condamine Medical Centre.

No offence to specialists or city slickers, but I think I have the best job in the world. My clinical care doesn’t just stop at a particular organ or body system. It isn’t limited to any particular age, gender or demographic. It isn’t constrained within the walls of a ward, theatre, consult room or emergency department – I am with my patients through their entire healthcare journey.

In addition to my clinical work, I have associate lecturer positions with the University of Queensland (UQ) and Griffith University. I am also the chair of the registrar committee of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, where I advocate for not only fellow registrars, but the health and wellbeing of rural Australians.

Is there anything that stands out as a highlight from your time at Bond?

I had many positive experiences, but the highlights were my placements in Roma, the Torres Strait and the Solomon Islands in my final year of medical school. This was when I discovered my passion for rural medicine. It would also be remiss of me not to mention that I met my now fiancé, a fellow medical graduate, at Bond!

What advice would you offer our 2021 Bond Medical Program graduates?

My advice for upcoming medical graduates – I feel like I’m setting a theme here – is to GO RURAL! 

Dr Delo Subhaharan

Class of 2013, member of the Bond Medical Alumni Committee

What have you been up to since you graduated?

I graduated from Bond University in 2017. Since then, I have been working at the Gold Coast University Hospital, pursuing my long-term goal of mastering gastroenterology. Recently, I won the 2021 Gastroenterology Society of Queensland (GESQ) Young Investigator Award, which was a very proud moment for me.

I have also been working closely with the Bond Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine as a mentor for current medical students. I recently founded my own company that strives to help students trying to get into medicine or dentistry by fostering their interview skills.

How did Bond prepare you for your career as a medical professional?

Bond prepared me so well for my current career as a doctor – what I love most about the program is how flexible it is with its self-directed learning. I didn’t feel pressured, which is especially important when studying something as intensive as medicine. From a skills perspective, the Medical Program taught me key methods for approaching and managing difficult situations, which I use regularly in my career.

What advice would you offer our 2021 Bond Medical Program graduates?

The best piece of advice I could give this year’s graduating class is to take every opportunity that comes your way. “Work and you will get what you need; work harder and you will get what you want.”

Dr Ghazal Valizadeh

What have you been up to since you graduated?

Since graduating, I’ve been interning at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. In my very short career as a junior doctor, a major highlight has been the opportunity to interview prospective students for the Bond Medical Program. After only just recently being an interviewee myself, sitting on the opposite end of the table there was a definite sense of imposter syndrome – but it was such a surreal and wonderful experience overall.

Is there anything that stands out as a highlight from your time at Bond?

Some of my fondest memories at Bond were made during my first semesters on campus, living in A Block. Looking back, a lot of these special moments were shared over a bowl of laksa at the Brasserie (now Lakeside) with friends.   

How did Bond prepare you for your career as a medical professional?

Although I was less than enthused about OSCEs (objective structured clinical examinations) at the time, I think the large number of these we did at Bond definitely helped to develop our clinical and communication skills to a higher level.

Dr Helena Franco

Class of 2013, 2018 Bond University Young Alumni Award winner, member of the Bond Medical Alumni Committee

What have you been up to since you graduated?

After graduating from the Bond Medical Program, I completed my internship year and junior house officer year at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane, working in orthopaedic surgery, ENT surgery and intensive care (neonatal and adult). During this time I also completed two secondments to the Queensland Children's Hospital. I then moved into a role as the Orthopaedic Senior House Officer and Principal House Officer (PHO) at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, before moving to Cairns Hospital to work as an Orthopaedic PHO in 2021, which I loved! 

What are you doing now?

In August, I moved to Boston to commence a Master of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery at the Harvard Medical School. I feel very fortunate to have my studies supported as a R.G. Menzies Scholarship to Harvard recipient, and this new chapter has been wonderfully enjoyable, as I learn more about equitable health and surgical implementation. 

Is there anything that stands out as a highlight from your time at Bond?

My fondest memory from Bond was a lecture with Dr Victoria Brazil on the power of ‘pulling up a chair’. The message she imparted during that pre-clinical lecture is one I still remember many years later – when I am preparing for a difficult conversation with a patient or breaking bad news to families, I always pull up a chair.

What advice would you offer our 2021 Bond Medical Program graduates?

You will have some wonderful successes, but there will also be some really difficult times during your junior doctor years. No matter how difficult things may seem, there are always people who support and care about you. And, no matter how busy your shift may be, there is always time to drink water, eat food and use the bathroom!

Dr Chloe Tyson

Class of 2013, 2017 MD Valedictory Medal recipient

What have you been up to since you graduated?

After graduating from the Medical Program in 2017, I completed my internship at Logan Hospital. Then, in my second year, I moved to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane to be closer to the Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH) – I had become more interested in paediatrics, and learned I could take a secondment to QCH. I stayed on at QCH and secured a place on the Queensland Paediatric Training Network.

During my first year of paediatric training, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. The plan was to take some time off at the end of the year and then return to the program, but life had other plans for me. At only 24 weeks, I went into labour and delivered a baby boy named Edric.

Edric spent 130 very difficult days in the NICU at the Mater Hospital, where he underwent two major surgeries and was resuscitated many times. This experience really humbled me as a person and changed me as a doctor, too. I have so much more compassion for the patient’s journey and am acutely aware of the difficulties that can arise due to resource limitations and the complexity of hospital systems.

When I returned to work, I decided that I wanted to spend some away from the hospital. A secondary interest of mine has always been general practice – I was in the General Practice Students Association while at Bond and completed both my selective and elective in general practice. Informed by my interest in public health, I decided to take a job at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service as a GP registrar. I’m still in this role, which I am enjoying very much, and my plan is to finish this training and then work in Indigenous health part-time.

I also plan to use the medical management portion of my master’s degree and work in medical administration in my remaining time. Especially after my son’s hospital stay, I am very driven to enact change around patient safety and the patient experience.

How did Bond prepare you for your career as a medical professional?

An aspect of the Medical Program that prepared me for my career was its practicality. From the first year, there is ample opportunity to practice reasoning and clinical skills – in particular, the use of simulated patients from year one was very helpful in preparing everyone for interactions with real patients.

What advice would you offer our 2021 Bond Medical Program graduates?

If you have an idea of what you want to do, then that’s great – focus on it. Get experience and undertake research on your area of interest where possible. If you don’t know, though, that’s okay! Take your time, as working as a fully-fledged doctor can be very different to a medical school placement. You might find that you enjoy an area you never thought you would like. So, keep an open mind, and whichever path you take, be sure to enjoy the journey.

Dr Brendan Nolan

Class of 2006, 2010 MBBS Valedictory Medal recipient

What have you been up to since you graduated?

After graduating, I trained as a physician at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, before relocating to Austin Health in Melbourne, where I completed endocrinology training. I then commenced my PhD in 2019 with the support of a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) scholarship. The focus of my PhD is the safety of gender-affirming hormone therapy for transgender individuals.

Is there anything that stands out as a highlight from your time at Bond?

The friendships that were formed – many of which continue to this day!

What advice would you offer our 2021 Bond Medical Program graduates?

Enjoy the journey. Remember there’s life outside of medicine. Never be afraid to ask for help.

Dr Nick Mundell

Class of 2008, 2012 MBBS Valedictory Medal recipient

What have you been up to since you graduated?

In 2013 and 2014, I did my internship and residency at Nepean Hospital. I enjoyed critical care medicine, and in 2015 got a job at Prince of Wales Hospital (POWH) doing anaesthetics, ICU and ED. From this, anaesthetics really stood out, so I moved over to Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital in 2016, passed my primary exam, and finally ended up practicing at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA). I completed my training at RPA and received my fellowship letters in July of this year.  

I am currently completing a postgraduate fellowship in cardiothoracic anaesthesia at RPA. Next year, I will hopefully have a visiting medical officer appointment at both RPA and POWH continuing my cardiothoracic anaesthetic practice.

Is there anything that stands out as a highlight from your time at Bond?

I think the best memories come from the friendships you make while you're learning and working to become doctors. Bond’s Medical Program provides a nice balance of study and life on the beautiful Gold Coast.

What advice would you offer our 2021 Bond Medical Program graduates?

The camaraderie and the bonds you make while studying will stick with you forever. Enjoy your time at university – have fun and work hard, but don’t forget to enjoy yourselves. 

 

Of course, this is just a snapshot of the incredible graduates who have emerged from the Bond Medical Program – and there are certainly more to come, starting with this year’s graduating class!

Your journey to practicing medicine

The Bond Medical Program is the shortest pathway to becoming a doctor in Australia. Discover what makes a medical degree from Bond University different.

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