Paediatrician

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Kim, 25

Her scores in Year 12 were just below the cut-off level for medicine, but with fierce determination and after an exhausting interview Kim was accepted at the last minute. Now a junior doctor, she loves her chosen career. Find out more:

> Fact file
> Profile
> Job specs
> Getting started

Fact file

Job description: Manages care of sick children.

Subjects studied: Maths (4 Units), Economics (3 Units), English, Physics and Chemistry.

Further training: Kim has Honours Degree in Medicine from Flinders University (6 years).

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Profile

Kim Drever's dream of doing Medicine seemed out of reach when her university entry score in Year 12 narrowly missed the cut-off in every state. She was just about to enrol for Veterinary Science with the hope of switching to medicine later when a call came from Flinders University. Could she come and speak to them?

She was on the next plane to Adelaide and, after an exhausting interview, Kim was thrilled to learn that her 'enthusiasm, determination and motivation' had been rewarded.

She hasn't looked back from that day. Having graduated with honours, Kim now works as a junior doctor at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. The children in her care range from newborn babies to adolescents. Some are very ill, with life-threatening conditions; others visit the Children's for more mundane reasons, such as immunisation.

A typical day

A randomly selected diary entry gives an idea of a typical day:

"Start work 1600 hrs; see 1st child with burst appendix-sent him to the operating theatre; 2nd child had bad constipation-made her poo!; 3rd child had a bleeding disease and a very bad blood nose-stopped the bleeding; 4th child had a cold; 5th child came in by ambulance. Her heart had stopped. We tried to get her back, but it was too late..."

At the end of an eight-hour shift, which inevitably stretches beyond, Kim heads home and thinks about when she can fit in some study time for the famously difficult entry exams to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

A vocation, not a job

Questions about Kim's career lead to responses peppered with words like 'love', 'fun', 'emotionally draining', 'satisfying' and 'demanding'. It's very clear that she wouldn't do anything else.

In what other job, she says, could you be hugged by an elated first-time father, then have to tend a 3-year-old who claims to have been bitten by a one-toothed dinosaur in the backyard of his home?

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Job specs

A paediatrician diagnoses and treats diseases of children from birth to early adolescence.

Personal requirements

  • Good communication skills
  • Self-confidence
  • Conscientiousness
  • Able to relate to people
  • Compassion towards others
  • Enjoy working with people
  • A high degree of motivation and self-discipline

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Getting started

Find out more about a career in medicine:

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
1 Palmerston Cres South Melbourne, VIC 3205
Tel: (03) 8699 0414

Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (new window) (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).

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