I loved being in a new place and meeting new people from the 公共卫生硕士, he said. There were a lot of people who were older than me and they had had incredible experiences overseas. We had amazing professors and specialists teaching us tropical medicine. All the highlights from my time there are framed by the scenery and the experience of living in beautiful Townsville.
A highlight was going to Mt Isa, he said. It was fascinating. The landscape was incredible. We also went to cattle stations that stretched for thousands of kilometres and we were invited to indigenous peoples homes. I loved the culture, the art and the food. We also looked at some of the really difficult social issues they experience. There is some positive and innovate work happening and it was a privilege to get that insight.
Studying public health has strengthened Robbies ability to look at the bigger picture. He is working as a doctor at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and said the Masters has given him a strong foundation as a junior practitioner.
Public health is looking at that system level and finding ways to optimise systems, he said. The main benefit of studying the MPH, for me, has been the paradigm shift and the way it has opened my mind to system level problems. It has changed the way I perceive health and what I think our goals and outcomes should be. Im looking forward in the next few years to progressing in my career and reaching a level where I can use this knowledge and perspective to make a positive impact.
Robbie hopes to specialise in psychiatry and find a way to combine social enterprise with medicine to help improve peoples mental health. He was attracted to the field because psychiatrists are medical specialists who look holistically at a patient, taking their past, present and future into account for treatment.
Psychiatrists work with many people in disadvantaged populations in a way that is unequalled by other specialisations, he said. They work with the homeless, financially disadvantaged, and the refugee population. They work with people who have been dealt a hard hand in life and have the burden of poor mental health. Mental health is an incredibly complex issue and we could be doing better. People are doing really great things in this area, but I dont think the systems are fully optimised, yet.
Definitely do it, he said. I had zero regrets and its an incredible experience. People can get caught up in worrying if extra study will disadvantage them. They're in a rush to get to where theyre going and dont realise that it's fine to take your time and explore other interests. The opportunity to learn is rewarding in itself. Sometimes its worth taking a risk and doing it.