Medical graduate continues to kick goals

Volume 7 Number 3 March 14 - April 10 2011

Medicine was always on Brendan Jones’ radar but so was a crack at top level soccer.By Penny Moodie and Blaise Murphet.

A career in medicine was always an option for graduate Brendan Jones (MBBS 2010); however, before starting his course at the University of Melbourne he had dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. During a deferment from the course, Brendan travelled to the USA to play soccer at a top tier university just outside of New York. It was only after this time away that Brendan decided to go back to university to study medicine.

“I thought of medicine as more of a back-up plan for me if soccer didn’t work out, however once I had started the course I was sure that it was what I was meant to be doing,” Brendan says.

One of his highlights was the time he spent at the Austin and Northern hospitals for his clinical placements.

“I loved my time at the Austin and Northern hospitals. The culture is great there and I am very proud to be part of it,” he says.

In one of his early rotations at the Northern Hospital, Brendan experienced the aftermath of the Victorian bushfires.

“I was doing my rotation in orthopaedics and plastic surgery starting just after the bushfires, which meant that it was extremely busy. It would have been very easy for the treating teams to ignore us as students but instead they involved us and made us feel like important members of the team. Despite all the pressure on the registrars by the end of the rotation they essentially had us doing minor operations under supervision,” he explains.

Another opportunity during his course was a summer placement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Queensland.

“I received a John Flynn Scholarship, which allowed me to have really brilliant experience unlike anything else in the medical world. I certainly would recommend it to anyone,” Brendan says.

During his time at the University, Brendan became involved in many facets of University life including playing soccer for the annual uni games, as well as being an integral member of the Teach the Teacher program, an initiative that involves medical students and education students collaborating to produce seminars about sexual education.

“The program developed because it became clear that sexual education was not a priority in the syllabus for education students, despite evidence that teachers are an adolescent’s most trusted resource. We brought our medical knowledge to the table and education students contributed in regard to teaching skills. We learned a lot from each other,” Brendan says.

Following his course, Brendan has started interning at the Austin and Northern hospitals, since returning from a month long trip around South America.

“I feel as if I have really hit the ground running since I am on rotation in the emergency department. It is incredibly busy but I feel as if I have been very well prepared for this first year of working as a doctor. The course really made it easy for me to feel confident in my abilities,” he says.

Throughout his course Brendan proved to be a fantastic all rounder, as such it is no surprise that options such as working in paediatrics, surgery, pursuing further study and teaching medicine loom on the horizon.