2008 School Dux Focusing on a Future in Medicine

Old Girl, Asha Bonney graduated from St Catherine’s School in 2008 as our School Dux. Now, Asha is currently completing her physician training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. We hear about her career progression in the second of our Leading the Way – Where are they Now stories…

asha-bonney1. What is your current position and what does it involve?
I am currently completing my basic physician training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. This is my specialisation training, and means that in a few years I can work in internal medicine, such as in Respiratory Medicine (diseases of the lungs). This is a full time job working as a doctor, whilst preparing for upcoming examinations.

2. What have been two of your greatest career achievements to date?
Whilst I am still very early in my career, one highlight has definitely been my placement at the British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, Canada. During my time there, I was able to publish a few articles in medical journals, one of which is being used by the Poisons Centre over there. It still amazes me that the work I do can have an impact on the broader community and it is a constant motivator to contribute to health care initiatives.

I also enjoy helping out at the Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen, something I have done since I left school.

3. What challenges have you faced professionally and how have you dealt with them?
A significant part of being a doctor is dealing with challenging situations, and I’ve found having a good foundation for keeping an open mind and communicating effectively is key. Additionally, it’s important to look after your own health.

4. Thinking about your career progression, what study did you undertake post-school and how was it beneficial?
After school, I completed a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at Monash University in 2013. From there, I began my internship at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in and have continued my training there since.

5. Reflecting on your time at St Catherine’s how do you feel the School/staff/students assisted you?
My time at St Catherine’s was a wonderful experience, full of support and opportunities. I always felt actively encouraged to pursue my interests and have a well balanced education.

6. What advice would you have for current St Catherine’s students, particularly our VCE students, when selecting subjects, tertiary courses and careers?
Choose subjects you love; when I was at school I enjoyed languages and different cultures, and so studied both Japanese and French in VCE. The school was very supportive in my subject selections. Moreover, prior to deciding on what you want to do after school, have a chat with people in the field and also your career’s advisor. My advisor, Mrs White, was incredibly helpful whilst I was deciding my pathway.

7. St Catherine’s has a proud history of Old Girls influencing a number of industries. Do you have professional networks of Old Girls that you keep in contact with? If so, how have these connections been beneficial?
Whilst my friends from School are not in the same field as me, they are a constant source of encouragement. It’s also always a nice surprise meeting Old Girls in the workplace.

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