Then and Now: a throwback to the graduation days of our academics

Take a look back at when and where the academics of the Medical School graduated from and their top tips for life after graduation.

  • Professor Imogen Mitchell

    Graduated July 1989, University of London

    Plan after graduating: Briefly wanted to be a surgeon and for quite a while wanted to be a gastroenterologist

    What you do now: Currently, Intensive Care Specialist and Dean of ANU Medical School

    Tips for our new graduates:

    Career: Gain as much clinical experience as you can, don’t rush in getting a specialist fellowship and don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do yet!

    Life: There is no right time to have children

    Practical tips:

    • Know your patients
    • Make task lists
    • If asked to see a patient, see a patient
    • Avoid acute renal failure by ensuring adequate volume loading!
  • Professor Jane Dahlstrom

    In the photo from graduation - I was nearly 5 months pregnant!

    Graduated University of Sydney, Australia March 1985

    Plan after graduating: To be a good intern, wife and parent

    What you do now: Currently, Interim Dean, ANU College of Health and Medicine, Chair and Professor of Pathology, Australian National University Medical School and Senior Staff Specialist, Anatomical Pathology, ACT Pathology at Canberra Hospital

    Tips for our new graduates:

    • “We can’t do everything at once but we can do something at once” (Calvin Coolidge)
    • “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life” (Dolly Parton )
    • One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if you have not had a good breakfast ( slightly modified Virginia Woolf)
  • Dr Stephen Ross

    Graduated 1982 The University of Sydney

    Plan after graduating: Forensic Pathologist – a Post mortem was the only thing I could do on graduation

    What you do now: Currently, General Practitioner in Young, Academic Coordinator & Clinical Senior Lecturer, Rural Clinical School, Young NSW Campus

    Tips for our new graduates:

    Keep playing music and try many medical hospital experiences big, small, rural before a training programme ties you down

  • Dr Zan-Min Song

    Graduated August 1981 at the age of 18, Chengde Medical College, China

    Plan after graduating: The state-run college assigned me a work at a remote GP clinic at a desert region in Northern China. Wanted to be a scientist at the time

    What you do now: Currently, a senior lecturer in anatomy in ANU Medical School, a developmental neuroscientist at John Curtin School of Medical Research and a medical officer at Calvary Hospital

    Tips for our new graduates:

    • Positive thinking with the glass half-full mentality
    • Never ever give up during adversities in career or life
    • If something does not suit, move away from it and find something else that does
  • Professor Zsuzsoka Kecskes

    Graduated in 1992 from the University of Hamburg. Medical School in Germany (graduation photos don’t exist as we get our graduation certificate sent in the mail, which states you are a medical graduate but this does not allow you the title of doctor, so I was Ms Kecskes, medical graduate). The photo is from 1993 when I received my higher degree title of Dr med (Doctor of Medicine, the German variation of a PhD, which now allows me to carry the title of Dr Kecskes)

    Plan after graduating: During my studies I wanted to become a surgeon, a paediatric neuropathologist (for about a week) and then a paediatric surgeon. By the time I graduated I was sure I wanted to be a Paediatrician. During my paediatric training I did a rotation through the neonatal department and that sealed it – I completed my general paediatric training in Australia and subspecialised in Neonatal Intensive Care Medicine

    What you do now: Deputy Dean of the Medical School and Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Neonatology, Canberra Hospital

    Tips for our new graduates:

    • Don’t rush your career, you never know where you’ll end up or what you will be doing – so take every opportunity, every bend along the way, every road less travelled
    • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts (W Churchill)
    • Reach out – to family, friends, colleagues, a mentor and your patients
  • Professor Alison Kent 

    Graduated May 1994, Flinders University of South Australia

    Plan after graduating: Seriously considered paediatric surgery before a term in neonatology at the end of medical school swayed me to become a physician (although still a surgeon at heart)

    What you do now: Currently, Director of Neonatal Clinical Research, University of Rochester, Golisano Children’s Hospital at URMC, NY, USA

    Tips for our new graduates:

    Career: Choose what you love to do, with the amount of time you have to spend in your career make it something that you thoroughly enjoy.

    Life: Don’t plan every step of your career, take chances as they frequently take you to places that you never imagined and can be amazingly fulfilling.

    Practical tips: See and do as much as you can as a trainee, don’t rush to become a Consultant, know who your patients are as people, brushing your teeth after a long night on call can almost make you feel like you have had some sleep!

  • Professor Michael Levy 

    In the photo: My university holiday job – circa 1975 

    Graduated from University of New South Wales in 1977.

    Plan after graduation: Paediatrics, later public health and much later infectious diseases epidemiology.

    What you do now: 24 years in prisoner health, including a little national and international exposure.

    Tips for our new graduates:

    Life: Medicine is such a generous discipline, adaptable to so many life circumstances. It is an honour to be a doctor, but it comes with obligations to give generously.

    Practical tips: Imagine how it could be to walk in your patient’s shoes, but never aspire walk in those shoes.