Training creates career path for young gynaecologist

An increasing number of young people are testimony to the belief that systematic training, commitment to work and continuous education help them progress in their career.

Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Premjit Gill, who works as a Senior House Officer (Junior Doctor) at the Wellington Hospital Obstetrics & Gynaecology Ward is one of them.

Career Services, a Government Organisation that provides independent career information has featured her on its website (www.career.govt.nz).

“Obstetrics & Gynaecology offers a good mix of medicine and surgery, from being in the delivery suite to operating in the Gynaecology theatre. Most of our patients are younger and have good outcomes, and it is a wonderful feeling to be involved in pregnancy and the birthing process,” she said.

While she enjoys her work, getting there was not easy.

Education & Career

Migrating to New Zealand from her native Malaysia with her family in 1998, Premjit completed Bursary (NCEA Level 3) and enrolled at the Otago University in Dunedin to complete her medical degree.

Following her educational qualifications, she worked as a house surgeon for two years (2005-2007). Thereafter she went back to Malaysia to work in Orthopaedics and later completed her Medical Licensing Examination in the US.

“As a first year house surgeon you usually work in general medicine and general surgery, before deciding on a specialisation,” she said.

Returning to New Zealand in 2009, Premjit began her specialisation in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and completed her one-year postgraduate in the subject this year.

Premjit plans to undergo a training programme to qualify to be a Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Auckland.

Anxiety & Worry

She said the first year of her work was filled with anxiety, expectation, and the worry of being accepted at the Medical School.

“Once you are in the door you are really well supported to get through it. I still had a lot of time to do other stuff as well. I think everyone has this impression that you have to study hard, which is true, but it was just about getting the balance right,” she said.

Premjit said Obstetrics and Gynaecology was exciting but proper communication with patients was key to success.

She described about a patient who had been through a forced circumcision when she was a child in Africa.

“She was very emotional as a pregnant woman since she could not give birth naturally. I talked to her about her and made her feel at ease.

“We were able to reverse the procedure, which made her happy. She went back feeling a lot better once she knew she was in a supportive environment.”

Premjit believes in work-life balance.

“You have to know when to take time out. It can be stressful but if you know what you are getting yourself into, I think you can deal with it a lot better.
“I think that is a huge stress relief to just say after work, ‘Let’s go have a drink or grab a coffee’ and relax,” she said.

Editor’s Note: Career Services aims to provide New Zealand residents information, advice and guidance on career development. It encourages New Zealanders to take well-informed decisions about work and learning in the context of the life they wish to lead and ensures that people are able to navigate confidently their own pathways to success.

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