Jennifer Jamieson (University of Melbourne, 2008)

Jenny Jamieson

Current job title: Emergency Registrar, Alfred Health

Areas of interest: Public health, Injury/ageing/disability, Disaster response

What are you doing now?
I’ve just returned from spending a year in Tanzania and am now back working at the Alfred Hospital Emergency & Trauma Centre.  I’m also desperately trying to readjust to Victorian weather after a year of living in Sub-Saharan Africa!

What did you do after finishing medical school / university studies?
I spent the first three years working at the Alfred and pursuing my interest in trauma, emergency and critical care. I tried to maintain my interest in global health by getting involved in some of the international health programs run at the hospital and starting a diploma in tropical medicine. Along with a few others, we helped start up the Global Health Gateway website. I sat my first part exams for emergency medicine training and then decided to take a year off. During that year, I worked with MSF in Kunduz, Afghanistan in their trauma hospital as their emergency and ICU doctor. I returned to Melbourne to commence advanced training in emergency medicine and remained involved in the Global Health Gateway and Global Ideas forum. I also converted my diploma into an MPH. During 2015, I worked in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at one of the national hospitals where emergency medicine specialty training had recently been established. My role here was to assist with non-clinical activities such as protocol development, education and training.

What was your ‘big break’?
I’m not sure if I had one! I remember a pivotal moment as a medical student was being involved in running the AMSA Global Health Conference and feeling determined that global health had to be an integral part of my medical career. Working with MSF also cemented a lot of my values for working in the field.

Where are you headed / What’s your dream job? Are you in it now?
Right now, I have to stay in Melbourne to finish off the last part of my training, so I’m not headed overseas again immediately.

My dream job is a combination of both clinical and global health work. I adore the diversity and acuity of emergency medicine, including the practical skills it gives you for field work. So perhaps I am in my dream job right now!

What did you study that has helped you (during or since medical school)?
I would recommend an MPH – it’s incredibly useful. I engaged in field work before and during my MPH studies, which I felt complimented my learning with practical, real-life experiences.

Top tip for students interested in a similar global health pathway?

  1. Stay engaged! It’s easy to slip on to the treadmill of clinical medicine and specialty training programs, feeling we need to “get through” these before engaging in global health work. That’s not true – taking time off to pursue global health interests have been some of my career highlights.
  2. Adversity will visit along your global health journey. Make sure you know why you are engaged in this work beforehand, so when you experience challenges or difficulty you can find ways of remaining passionate about your work.

When I am not doing global health you’ll find me…
Running, writing, reading, walking my hyperactive golden retriever or drinking good coffee!

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