Despite completing her anaesthesiology residency right before COVID-19 created novel challenges for junior practitioners, Dr Annemarie Chrysantia Melati has cultivated a successful career in Indonesia.
Dr Annemarie Chrysantia Melati came to Australia to study as part of her MD and Bachelor of Medical Science through a partnership with Universitas Indonesia. She spent 2010-2011 undertaking her Advanced Medical Science (AMS) year at the University of Melbourne.
What are your strongest memories of your time at the University?
My strongest memory of my AMS year was definitely my clinical attachment with Professor Mark Ashton at the Department of Plastic Surgery in the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
It was my first ever ‘clinical’ exposure. Meeting patients and observing how the clinicians and surgeons worked were incredible experiences. Additionally, other staff members as well as the residents were very nice and made my time in the hospital was enjoyable.
What kept you motivated at university?
The lecturers and my fellow classmates in the University of Melbourne kept me motivated. The lecturers gave me an example how to be excel in both academic and research field. Their interests, passions and curiosity motivated me, as a student, on how to become a better physician just like them. I was also very lucky to have classmates who inspired and encouraged me during my study.
What drew you to your current field?
Anaesthesiology is a dynamic field with a balance of knowledge and skill. Most people think that anaesthesiology is only putting people to sleep during surgery. However, it serves so much more.
Anaesthesiologists must ensure patient wellbeing before, during and after surgery. Patients are willing to entrust their lives into the hands of their anaesthesiologists. I would say anaesthesiologists are the ‘wizards’ working behind the drapes.
What are some career highlights so far?
I was selected as the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Global Scholar in 2022. It was a fruitful experience, meeting up with senior leaders in this field and being introduced to global health.
Being ASA Global Scholar has also opened many opportunities that will help me achieve my dreams and personal goals.
How did your studies at the University help you prepare for your career?
The University of Melbourne has taught me that it is possible to be a clinician and researcher at the same time. My time at the University showed me how to balance these two worlds. Hence, as clinician now I have been lucky to be involved in several research projects both in my hospital and at a national level.
What excites you about the future?
We’re currently in the era of artificial intelligence. I’m excited to see how this new technology can advance our health care system, especially in the field of perioperative medicine. I believe artificial intelligence can assist clinicians in making decisions in many different contexts. Additionally, this new technology will serve as a new tool to improve our collaborations with other specialties.
What advice would you give to current students?
Be open to various interests and pathways. Being a student is the perfect time to really find your passion. Hence, do not be afraid to try different things and explore as many as opportunities as possible.