Junior doctor hopes Children's Hospital will inspire people to consider medical career path

Mother holds her child on a hospital bed
Pictured above: Mum Jessica with two year old Seth who came to the FSH Children’s ED with a piece of popcorn stuck in his ear. Pictured below: Junior Doctor Hilary Dorward who features in this episode.
July 21, 2022

Episode six of Children’s Hospital, airing on Friday 22 July 2022, will have the audience on the edge of their seats as children receive life-changing treatment in our hospital – but this is just another day in the life for our junior doctors.

Contrary to what the name implies – a junior doctor is a qualified medical professional who is often also undertaking specialist postgraduate training while practicing.

Featured in this week’s episode of Children’s Hospital, Dr Hilary Dorward is a Resident Medical Officer, but at the time of filming was a junior doctor completing her intern placement in Fiona Stanley Hospital’s children’s ED.

“As an intern, I was quite nervous to be featured in Children’s Hospital – I was worried I would forget everything I knew about medicine the moment the cameras started rolling,” Hilary laughed.

“Like in any other profession, there are insecurities we all have as junior doctors and we can get worried we won’t know enough to answer all the questions.

“That’s the joy of being a junior doctor – a more senior doctor will always be there to back you up when you need help or push you when they know you’re capable.”

Hilary loved her experience working in the children’s ED and believes dipping their toes into paediatric medicine would be valuable for all medical practitioners.

Female doctor smiling

“Paediatric medicine is a very different way of practicing medicine – we generally tend to do things in very structured ways, but with children you find yourself working around and being led by them,” Hilary said.

“You’ll try and listen to their chest when they are asleep or examine how they walk when they play. When they finally scream, you’ll think ‘okay great, now I can quickly flash my light and quickly see your throat!’

“Working with children presents an opportunity for junior doctors to build skills they wouldn’t necessarily get elsewhere and be applied outside paediatrics, such as in ED, general practice and surgeries.”

Hilary is very proud of her appearance on Children’s Hospital and hopes it might inspire people to consider medicine as a career path.

Children’s Hospital will give people a better idea of what it looks like in a children’s ED and I hope people considering a job in health, such as a paediatric nurse, allied health worker or doctor, will feel empowered to make a more informed decision about their career trajectory,” Hilary said.

“I learnt more in my intern year at South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) than in medical school and am surrounded an incredible community – my favourite memories so far have been sharing a laugh with my junior colleagues, pharmacists and nursing staff.

“I have been very well supported in my learning at SMHS and have had ample opportunity to perfect skills such as suturing and getting difficult intravenous lines in – I’ve come a long way as someone who used to faint at the sight of needles and blood!”

Hilary would also like to share the advice a well-respected doctor once gave her when she finished medical school:

“Never be afraid to ask a question or for help. Listen to your patients or their parent. Attend to the details. If the patient is not right, then assume the worst complication has arisen. Delay kills.”

Episode six features a toddler who got a popcorn kernel stuck in his ear, a young boy who had a heavy fall from the monkey bars and a tiny baby who gets life-changing facial surgery.

You can also catch up and watch the episodes anytime on 9Now.

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