"The Master of Public Health has given me a vocabulary that I have found to be particularly useful in creating research projects, administrating work activities and communicating most effectively with hospital and DHHS administrators and departments."
I am a Thoracic Surgeon and Head of Thoracic Surgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. I treat patients with lung cancer, chest trauma and other benign conditions of the chest. I administrate our clinical service and am responsible for rosters, audit, education and general oversight of our consultant staff, surgical trainees, residents, medical students, nurses and allied health professionals. I head our Research Unit in Thoracic Surgery and administer research budgets and projects including ethics and grant proposals as well as publication assistance. I also work privately at Melbourne Private and Epworth Hospitals and run a small private practice in thoracic surgery and medicolegal work.
Although I am involved in research, I did not possess a higher degree such as a research-specific master’s or PhD. I had felt that my epidemiology and statistics knowledge could be improved and hoped to supervise our research our students better. I also sit or have sat on most of the hospital’s senior committees and felt that improving my leadership, management and communication skills were important. Finally, most of my clinical, educational and research work is done in the public sector and I thought it important to improve my knowledge in how our public health system operates. These are the reasons why I decided to study the Master of Public Health (MPH) at the University of Melbourne.
I am an alumnus of the University of Melbourne and chose its MPH program for reasons of convenience (it’s right across the road from Royal Melbourne Hospital!), loyalty to my former university and the depth of the program content.
I found the health economics subjects and comparative health systems the most fascinating, and this has sparked my interest in pursuing health systems research from a health economic perspective.
The mix of lectures, tutorials, group projects are great and although it has been awhile since I last studied at university, the LMS was comprehensive and intuitive. Using programs such as Endnote, STATA and Word at a more sophisticated level was very useful.
Apart from the specific learnings in each subject, the MPH has given me a vocabulary that I have found to be particularly useful in creating research projects, administrating work activities and communicating most effectively with hospital and DHHS administrators and departments.
I was inspired during the MPH by several individuals who were both highly knowledgeable and experienced in their fields, such as Barbara McPake. I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture series by Enes Makalic – anyone who can make statistics interesting and enjoyable let alone inspiring deserves the best teacher award! It was also a pleasure to have been taught by Arthur Hsueh who introduced economic theory to uninitiated very well.
Finally, I have been so inspired that I feel strongly that the Faculty should reconsider an executive MPH stream to suit clinicians who have worked in healthcare for a number of years to take full advantage of the coursework available. To study this master’s program with a similar cohort of students would be even more inspirational!