Dr Belinda Hibble is an emergency medicine physician currently working in Geelong. Her self-admitted short attention span and desire to experience a variety of encounters in a single day makes her perfectly suitable for her position. Based in a rural setting, one simply “makes it work” in an emergency department. We debate the advantages and disadvantages of not having subspecialties at hand to “siphon off” broad or complex patients, and how this has helped her learn to manage patients in a more pragmatic manner.
Dr Hibble describes high burnout rates amongst ED physicians. To combat this, she suggests doctors involve themselves in other aspects of medicine, including administration, research and teaching, while working in multiple public and private hospitals and considering subspecialising. Work-life balance seems to be an aspect ED physicians struggle with. We discuss the importance of “learning how to say no”, and the seemingly impossible task of truly “switching off” with smartphones at hand 24/7.
Belinda emphasises the need to remain “well-rounded”, no matter how far along our training we find ourselves. She explains why the Colleges hold extra-curricular activities in “good stead”, even for things as seemingly unrelated as sports coaching. She has been able to do this through remaining involved with her Geelong-based Deakin University and spearheading critical care projects. We learn how we can become involved in effecting change from any (sub)committee and any position we hold within one.
Belinda’s time with MUMUS has served her well not only in her career but in other aspects of her life. She has used her experience with policy to work with the ED college in changing their curriculum. This leadership has also translated over into her clinical work, as well as looking impressive on her CV. At the end of the day, Belinda encourages us to get out there, experience as much as we can and make an educated decision about a path we want to pursue.
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Pathways into Emergency Medicine:
Medical School → Internship → Provisional ED Training (1yr) → Advanced ED Training (4yrs) → Consultant
According to the Australian Government Taxation Data, in the 2013-14 income year we had:
- 474 female emergency medicine specialists earning an average of $165,786
- 829 male emergency medicine specialists earning an average of $232,595
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