SMC Career Spotlight on Dr Tahira Bhatti
Dr Tahira Bhatti is a General Practitioner with a special interest in Obstetrics. She currently works at Albany District Hospital. She is living proof that there is no right way to get a great education.
Tahira at 2017 Careers Day
What has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge, becoming a GP Obstetrician, is still underway. When I was a high school student my goal was to become a nurse. I had always been interested in caring for people and nursing seemed like the ideal job for me. I wasn’t very academic in high school so didn’t do TEE (ATAR) subjects which meant I had to take a different route into university.
When I finished Year 12, I did a bridging course which gave me a score to apply to university to study a Bachelor of Nursing. Unfortunately, the first time I applied for Nursing I was not accepted. At the time, I was a bit upset; my plan had not gone the way I wanted. So I worked in aged care for a year and luckily was accepted into the Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Notre Dame the following year.
I never thought I would be “smart enough” to become a doctor, so that was never on my radar, however, during my first year of working as a registered nurse, I felt I wanted to achieve more, so I sat the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test) and passed. I then applied to study postgraduate Medicine at the University of Notre Dame, and to my surprise, was accepted first time around! It was a long four years of the hardest study I’ve ever had to do, including spending many late nights and weekends at the library, but it paid off and I graduated with an MBBS in 2013.
Since then I’ve spent most of my time working in Obstetrics and last year completed my Advanced Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. I’m currently working as a GP Registrar in Albany, WA and am on call for Obstetrics at the district hospital. The study is still not over though; next year boasts its own challenges as I will sit my College of General Practitioner exams to become a Fellow of the College.
What tools did you use to overcome the challenges?
During my university studies, I always had a very good support network of family and friends. Without the support of my parents, I could not have ever studied Medicine and without the support of my friends, including fellow Medicine students, studying would have been an extremely difficult and lonely task. Now as a GP Obstetric Registrar, I could not work and look after our little boy without the support of my husband.
What was the outcome?
I’m quite proud of the fact that I’m writing this in between seeing patients at my GP practice in Albany. Thinking of the multiple hurdles it took to get here over the years, I managed to do it and looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
What did you learn along the way?
I learnt how to become resilient, dedicated and strong-willed. I quite often wonder what I would have ended up doing if I didn’t have some setbacks along the way. Would I be where I am today or would my life have taken another path?
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