This week the RCH welcomed its next generation of doctors and nurses with 186 new Junior Medical Staff and 42 graduate nurses starting on Monday. We stopped by to visit new arrival Dr Ena to find out how she ended up in medicine and what the year 2020 taught her.
Why did you study medicine?
I actually wanted to be a human rights lawyer for the UN all through high school! I even started off doing an Arts Degree, but realised pretty quickly, nerd that I am, that I missed doing science. Medicine was a great way to both continue lifelong science education, as well as help and work with people. My mum worked as an anaesthetist during the civil war in ex-Yugoslavia when I was a toddler, and her stories showed me the scope of Medicine, both in helping people directly but also as a way to advocate for the broader community.
Did you always know you wanted to go into paediatrics?
I always loved working with kids, and worked with them a lot through various dancing and life-skills programmes, but I weirdly never considered paediatrics until my medical school rotation at the RCH. The working environment was so supportive, the kids were fun and adorable, and I loved the holistic nature of the specialty. From then on I was sold, did my research in paediatric rheumatology in Croatia, and now I’m very happy to be here!
What is your specialty and what do you like most about it?
You’ll have to come back to me in a few weeks – I’m just starting paediatric basic training as a Junior Resident Medical Officer this week! I’m excited to make the most of all the learning opportunities at the RCH though, and, of course, finally get to work in paediatrics.
What are you most looking forward to about working at the RCH?
The meerkats – just kidding, although I don’t know where to start! Obviously I’m excited to get to work with kids, and be a bit silly and playful to make the hospital experience less daunting for them. I’m also looking forward to meeting all my colleagues, working in a fun, supportive environment with great people, and hopefully learning lots along the way 🙂
What did the year 2020 teach you?
2020 was tough on all of us, and it’s affected everyone around the world and Australia differently, and unfortunately often inequitably. While working as doctor during a pandemic was hard at times, I was also grateful to be able to come in to work each day and do my bit. Mostly, I think 2020 has taught me the importance of social connection and embracing all the small moments we have with people – the picnics, the walks around the park – things I might have taken for granted previously that became really special.