Having never visited Tasmania before, the move was a gamble for Alasdair – but a gamble which has already paid off.
From London to the Royal Hobart Hospital, Emergency Doctor Alasdair Wood is happy to now call Hobart home. It’s the work-life balance and accessibility to outdoor pursuits that drew Alasdair to Tasmania, along with the opportunities available to broaden his ongoing professional learning and development as a doctor.
“I enjoy working here a lot more than I did in the UK,” confesses Alasdair, who believes the move is already increasing his experience and exposure to a wider range of medical interactions. “Purely from an academic point of view, there’s a lot more learning opportunities here. The Royal is a great hospital because it’s the referral centre for the whole of Tasmania, so you get a bit of everything.”
Alasdair arrived in August 2016 to commence work at “The Royal”, Tasmania’s Royal Hobart Hospital, Australia’s second oldest hospital. The facility is currently undergoing significant modernisation, undergoing a $689 million redevelopment – the largest health infrastructure project in Tasmania’s history.
Originally from Yorkshire in the UK, Alasdair previously worked in hospitals across London including Homerton in Hackney and Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. “In London, each hospital is specialised to one thing so you end up only seeing trauma or heart attacks, for instance, where as in Hobart anything can walk in. It’s so varied and interesting. I also like working in a smaller department where everyone knows each other by name and respects one another. Plus, I have more time off than working in the UK, to enjoy life.”
Seeking out a change, Alasdair started his search looking mainly around Sydney. However, he was drawn to look at Tasmania after a friend visited, raving about the island. He promptly shifted his focus to Hobart, Tasmania’s capital city, and accepted a position at The Royal shortly after – and all this without having ever visited Tasmania.
“I was looking for somewhere new,” says Alasdair, suggesting that Tasmania had other drawcards for him as well. “I was very keen to get involved in outdoor sports and learn some new ones. So I was looking for somewhere well-connected to the outdoors. I’m keen to learn to surf, dive, kayak and climb.”
Since his arrival, Alasdair has been making the most of Tasmania’s outdoors, having eagerly started his extensive ‘to do’ list. With his parents recently visiting from the UK, together they explored one of Tasmania’s newest walking adventures: the Three Capes Track. Trips to Cradle Mountain, Maria Island and rafting the Franklin River also top his list. By working only four days a week, Alasdair is looking to tick those off soon too.
“I’ve got a 15 minute walk to work down by the waterfront and it leaves me lots of time to do other things. Even today I could get up to Mount Wellington in the snow and I’ve just bought a wetsuit and surfboard so that’s the plan for tomorrow,” he adds.
This lifestyle is a world away from his former London routine. “It would begin with 45 minutes cramped on a commuter train, then it was hectic at work. There was an awful lot of constant pressure and competitiveness with other trainees at my level. Once over, I had the same return commute and although London is a great city, I never had time to enjoy what it had to offer.”
Having never visited Tasmania before, the move was a gamble for Alasdair – but a gamble which he feels has already paid off. “I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by Hobart as a city. It’s got a really nice feel to it, a creative edge and there’s more going on than I anticipated. It’s like a nice small town. I can walk to work in minutes. I haven’t been to the same café twice yet. And it’s a far more convivial pace of life.”
Want to know more?
Find more information on finding your next job in Tasmania.
For more information on visas and skilled migration to Tasmania, visit the Migration Tasmania website.
To find out more about the Royal Hobart Hospital Redevelopment Project, visit their website.