Hello and thanks for stopping by!!
Let’s get down to why I started this website…… basically I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I finished high school. I fell into the profession of optometry which I love, but it was really by a stroke of luck. I don’t want other people to leave their future to chance the way I did in case it doesn’t turn out as well!
I had always been fairly ‘book smart’, had a passion for dance, and had literally grown up in my parent’s small business in northern New South Wales. I did my senior schooling in the Queensland system, and did physics, chemistry, maths B, maths C and legal studies because I thought these subjects would keep my options open for something ‘sciency’ at uni. Not that I saw myself as a nerd, I knew I wanted to do something that directly helped people.
I remember going to careers events and university open days and having difficulty even knowing what questions to ask!! I mean – really – where do you start? And I read the QTAC book (you might have the UAC, VTAC, SATAC, TISCO in your state) cover to cover like a million times and just couldn’t find anything that jumped out at me.
I got an OP2/Rank 98, and was enrolled in a double degree in business and commerce at one university, before getting into optometry at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in the second round offers. So um, yeah – looking back now, although I didn’t realize it at the time, I probably put these two preferences down because I had two older sisters – one an optometrist and the other in the corporate world. And because I couldn’t find anything I definitively knew I wanted to do, I was just going to follow in their footsteps!!
You would think I went into the optometry course knowing all about the profession, but to be honest, I was just as clueless as all the other first year students. If I had my time over again, I would have asked to sit in for a few days with my sister or one of her colleagues, researched trends in the industry, asked practice owners what it’s like to own a business in the industry, and spoken to as many people in the industry as possible!! Really – I was just lucky that I found something I enjoy.
I graduated from QUT in 2003, and have worked in a number of urban and rural settings as an optometrist. I’ve worked in remote indigenous communities in Cape York in Queensland, boutique practices in inner-city locations, and corporate practices from Cairns to Launceston, Broome to Taree and Darwin to Port Macquarie.
So I launched My Health Career in September 2012 so that it can assist you in finding the right direction for you because leaving it to chance might not work out as well for you as it did for me! Since 2012 I have spent a lot of time dispelling myths and rumours about the health industry. You can be assured that all our articles, guest blog posts and videos come from people who are in the know!!
In the early days My Health Career stuck a chord with guidance counsellors, career development practitioners, industry liaison officers, career advisors, prospective health students and health industry stakeholders. What I didn’t foresee was the number of health professionals who became subscribers on our website well before I felt we had anything that would be of interest to them.
I felt that my personal journey became a hindrance at one point. I’d been a patient at the same GP clinic for about 15 years, and under the same doctor for over 10 years. Completely exhausted and burnt out in August 2015, I changed to a doctor who diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. Due to the poor state I was in, it took well over 2 years of treatment before I started to feel significantly better, and my health is continuing to improve all the time.
Being so acutely aware of my own burnout, it saddens me to see it so frequently in other health practitioners. But rather than see my own experience as a hindrance…. I had a website about health careers and at one point had felt unable to manage my own….. I see it as an opportunity. Now that I’ve come through the other side, I am shifting the focus of the website towards the theme of health for health practitioners, and will be inviting practitioners to look seriously as whether they are looking after themselves as their number one priority. As practitioners, if we aren’t looking after ourselves, how can we look after our patients?
I also think it’s time we had practitioner health and the health of the industry itself as the platform and basis for everything we do in health care. That’s why we have the new tagline Vitalising practitioner health + Energising industry culture, and will be working towards this.
I hope you benefit from the way I’ve transformed my own health career and the evolution of My Health Career!
Founder – My Health Career