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Interview Dr Cathal Mullin – Irish Dr working in Oz

HCA Doctors recently interviewed Dr Cathal Mullin, PGY8+ PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) Doctor working at Westmead Children’s Hospital. Cathal talks about moving to Australia from Ireland, working with HCA Doctors and a typical day in the PICU.

HCA Doctors:Can you please tell us more about your medical background and how you began your career?

Dr Mullin: I am currently a PGY8 Doctor, having initially studied and trained in Ireland and working for the NHS (National Health Service), I have worked in the Australian medical system for 6 years in Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales in various Critical Care roles in adult and primarily Paediatric surgery among other surgical specialities.

HCA Doctors:What made you move to Australia to continue your medical career?

Dr Mullin:Given my previous experience with the NHS training system, I wanted a change and to experience another Healthcare system. I initially came to Australia for one year but liked the system and training here so much more. Working in Australia has given me so many opportunities to progress my career, so I decided to stay and further my training here.

HCA Doctors:What were the biggest challenges you have experienced in your professional career?

Dr Mullin:The biggest challenges have been being an IMG (International Medical Graduate), which has been a constant hurdle during every application process for jobs, with further hoops to jump through. It can sometimes act as a hindrance in obtaining jobs, more than qualifications or skill set, despite now being an Australian citizen.

HCA Doctors:What’s a typical day like in the PICU at Sydney’s Children’s Hospital (SCH)?

DrMullin:The days in PICU are long, normally 12-hour shifts that are pretty constant and fast-paced and involve many night shifts. The patients are very demanding in terms of their needs and complexity with Westmead being the main centre for complex cardiac surgery.

HCA Doctors:What’s the most rewarding part about working within the PICU at SCH?

DrMullin:The patients and their families are the most rewarding part, particularly some of the more long-term patients who you get to know very well. The work itself is very interesting and rewarding and there is always something new to learn every day. I love seeing the children get better and be able to return home happily.

HCA Doctors:What tips would you give to young Doctors choosing their speciality/career pathway?

DrMullin:In choosing a career pathway, be realistic, choose something early and work hard to obtain it, the more desirable the more competition there will be. It helps to network as much as possible as here in Australia unlike some other places, references get you job and places, so it’s the most important of a career in medicine or otherwise, unfortunately, qualifications don’t mean much if no one looks at your cv to begin with.

HCA Doctors:How was the process working with HCA Doctors to find your position?

Dr Mullin:HCA has been brilliant, I had previously been with a few other Locum Agencies who were terrible, to be honest, and you’d have to look for work yourself, however with HCA Doctors, I quickly found roles I wanted to do and was quickly set up in this current PICU role.

HCA Doctors: Would you recommend HCA Doctors to other Doctors looking for positions in Australia?

Dr Mullin:Yes I would, well above other agencies I had used before!

HCA Doctors: Thanks for your time Dr Mullin.

If you’re a Doctor thinking about making the move to Australia, get in contact with our HCA Doctors team, who will be able to take you through a step by step process on moving and working in Australia.


If you would like to discuss your Aged Care Learning needs and how the HCA LMS might match your organisational requirements, contact us today.

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