Where are they now: Ann-Marie Mekhail

Ann-Marie Mekhail is a doctor in the Royal London Hospital critical care unit, where the main responsibilities are providing life support and organ replacement for patients. The hospital is part of the biggest NHS trust in the UK and has a particular focus on trauma patients.

I wanted to move to London to experience life in an international hub, travel to Europe while I work and to broaden my medical experience with a wider patient demographic.

Other 2006 Class Act Recipients

Sonya Lewthwaite

Rebecca Grant

Rhyan McMillan

Hamish Garry

Louise Jull

Cambell Gibbons

I work somewhere between 60 and 80 hours a week . . . and see about 15 patients a day.

Something New Zealand can take from the National Health Service is the big drive to continually demonstrate evidence of audit and quality improvement in health services and to assess how often care is being provided to the standard set by ‘‘best practice’’ and how it can be made better. New Zealand has wonderful clinical research projects and excellent clinical service outcomes but there is less importance placed on the relevance of auditing own practices.

One innovation that has impressed me is the rise in both the NHS and the New Zealand healthcare systems in developing roles for clinical nurse specialists. It is really encouraging to see the expertise of highly skilled nurses put to good use and honed. They are an invaluable resource for patients and junior doctors.

How will New Zealand’s health services change in the future? The proportion of women entering specialty training is rising and I think the rigidity of some specialty training programmes will be forced to relax as there is more pressure to allow people to have a balance between career and having a family. I also think that we will [hopefully] see a bigger push towards preventive medicine and public health funding ...  There is slow but progressively improving understanding amongst the public of the importance of healthy lifestyles and I think that has so much more value than any treatment medicine can provide after disease progression.

I want to specialise in anaesthetics and intensive care medicine . . . I like the holistic approach of managing every organ system and I find acute presentations of severe illness and their management very interesting. The machines available allow us to watch physiology happen in action. I also like that it is one of the specialties that gets to interact with every other specialty in the hospital. There is the option for a reasonable mix of both public and private work and a kinder work-life balance than some other specialties.

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