Dr Eleanor Thong is an endocrinology fellow at Monash Health. She settled upon endocrinology as a resident, where she gleaned satisfaction from the “direct results” she saw when treating patients. It was this “black and white” nature of the specialty that drew her towards it. Endocrinology seems to be a specialty filled with uncertainty and plenty of public health. While she thoroughly enjoys this aspect, she finds the complex patients difficult to piece together, an aspect of her job which keeps her on her toes!

We talk about the variety of paths one can take as a doctor that don’t involve metropolitan medicine. This includes degrees we can study – ranging from masters in public health to diplomas in tropical medicine – to research, taking time off after our intern or residency, and interstate/overseas placements. For instance, Eleanor details for us the indigenous clinics she is proud to be a part of in the Northern Territory. Eleanor fills in the gaps on what her daily routine involves in Melbourne and how this changes as a fellow.

We discuss the growing competitiveness of the field, including what research is looked upon favourably by assessors. We touch on more personal aspects of endocrinology, such as the best ways to stay up to date (including what a journal club is) in the field, the subspecialties available down the line, and where the field will be in the near future. Eleanor in particular raves about the explosion of interest and development in diabetes and osteoporosis research (you heard it here first!). As a woman in medicine, Eleanor has found it important to find a mentor to reach out to for guidance. However, endocrinology seems to be quite accessible in terms of its work-life balance, as we flesh out.

If you have any other questions you’d like us to ask Dr Eleanor Thong, fill out the form below or shoot us a message!

Pathways into Endocrinology

Medical School → Internship → HMO → Basic Physicians Training (3 years full-time equivalent) → Advance Physicians Training in Endocrinology (3 years full-time equivalent)

Source: Royal Australian College of Physicians

Salary

According to the Australian Government Taxation Data, in the 2013-14 income year we had:

  • 122 female endocrinologists earning an average of $174,542
  • 125 male endocrinologists earning an average of $258,972
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TMC019: Endocrinology with Dr Eleanor Thong
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