Our Future Workforce at the AIDA Conference

28 October 2022

Blog Images

The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) Conference was held recently, and we were in the fortunate position to be able to sponsor a number of health students to attend. We caught up with one of the students, Chloe Allen, after the conference to see what her key takeaways were and how this may help guide her as she enters the workforce in the future.

When asked what she was most inspired by at the AIDA Conference, Chloe said, ‘as this was my first year at AIDA, the biggest source of inspiration was seeing other First Nation’s doctors receive their stethoscopes and hear about what they are doing out in the community, now that they are no longer at med school. It provided the motivation I needed to persevere through upcoming exams and the rest of medical school.’  

‘Besides catching up with mob, the best element of the conference was the ability to ask questions to leaders of every medical field and the networking opportunities. Getting to meet mentors in person in a more casual environment led to so many productive conversations. I am now aware of the First Nation’s doctors here in Brisbane, how to reach out and the upcoming networking opportunities.’ 

Chloe said a big takeaway for her were the discussions around burnout. She said, ‘as someone who is yet to enter the workforce it was invaluable to learn the first signs of burnout, how to recognise them within yourself and more importantly prevent them. I think this will be a valuable asset going into my clinical years.’  

When asked how she will challenge the future for her Indigenous communities Chloe explained that ‘the biggest challenge will be learning to work as an Indigenous person within a westernised healthcare system and learning to work with and against this system for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I hope to ultimately provide a safe and welcoming environment wherever I end up working, that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples would feel comfortable enough to present and let me help them to the best of my abilities.’

Chloe’s words of encouragement for Indigenous high school students considering medicine as a career are that ‘it won’t be easy, but that’s not to say it won’t be worth it. I believe that if you have a dream, whether that be medical school or other health professional careers, your contribution as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person would be invaluable. Take every opportunity and remember that the path you take might not look like someone else’s but that doesn’t make it any less worthy.’

Image: Courtesy of AIDA