Dr Shavi Fernando is an obstetrics and gynaecology consultant working in metropolitan Melbourne. As a medical student, he gravitated towards O&G and paediatrics, deciding on the former after a BMedSci, an initiative he encourages us all to take. He is currently completing his PhD, moreso out of interest than requirement, although we do discuss the growing competition within the field.
Dr Fernando was drawn to O&G because of the “high acuity” of problems facing young, mostly healthy patients. In this way, he sees his work as adding great benefit, and always appreciates the thanks he receives from patients. While he found some barriers as a male medical student, his success demonstrates the (mostly) level playing field O&G offers to both genders, aside from a few hiccups.
Shavi’s current practice involves a mix between obstetrics and gynaecology, in both public and private settings. He offers insight into why some doctors choose one over the other, as well as why O&Gs get sued so much and what prospective ones can do to protect themselves (hint: honesty is key)!. In future, he sees a further split between the field’s two branches, as well as a greater focus on the growing obesity rate and its complications on pregnancy and delivery. We also discuss the training program’s requirements, including the emphasis on research, rural work and clinical time.
One of the main drawbacks of O&G seems to be the “unpredictable” working hours (even more so than Dr Fernando had expected!). Shavi described a typical week and how he functions being on call practically 24/7 at each of the 3 hospitals he works at! He also walks us through the minefield that is taking time off, and tells all our interns to “buy a house early” and follow their passion, both of which seem to be a major focus in the 21st century.
If you have any other questions you’d like us to ask Dr Shavi Fernando, fill out the form below or shoot us a message!
Pathways into Obstetrics and Gynaecology:
Medical School → Internship → HMO (1 year minimum) → Core Training Program (4 years) → Advanced Training Program (2 years)→ Consultant
According to the Australian Government Taxation Data, in the 2013-14 income year we had:
- 570 female obstetricians and gynaecologists earning an average of $264,628
- 641 male obstetricians and gynaecologists earning an average of $446,507
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