Changing the way for young docs

Dr Jasmin Korbl has been recognised as WA Junior Doctor of the Year and Australia & New Zealand Junior Doctor of the Year.

WHEN Dr Jasmin Korbl was growing up, she would eavesdrop on the conversations between her grandparents and their friends in Yiddish and broken English.

Together, they lamented their various ailments and while it may have been “a real-life comedy”, reflected Korbl, these interactions ignited her interest in medicine.

It was a path that she would later pursue – and a vocation for which Korbl is held in high esteem; she recently received the title of the Australia & New Zealand Junior Doctor of the Year.

Overseen by the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils, the award recognises junior doctors who have made significant contributions to ­pre-vocational medical education and training.

Also taking out the WA Junior Doctor of the Year Award, Korbl felt “privileged and grateful” for the honour, although remained conscious of the many other doctors doing excellent work around Australia.

“I am eager to use this recognition as a platform to bring to light the important and under-recognised issue of junior doctor welfare,” Korbl told The AJN, explaining that contemporary literature suggests that one-third of junior doctors are suffering from burnout.

“Over the last few years we have witnessed the tragic consequence of this with the suicides of some of our colleagues who have suffered alone, in a silent crisis,” she added.

“Working as a junior doctor can be very stressful and it is important that while we are looking after patients, that we take time to look after ourselves and each other.”

“I am eager to use this recognition as a platform to bring to light the important and under-recognised issue of junior doctor welfare.”

Originally from Melbourne, the Leibler Yavneh College alumna has been based in Perth since she made the move west to commence her medical studies in 2011. Since graduating from medical school, Korbl observed limited opportunities for junior doctors to discuss some of the challenging situations that they face at work.

In 2017, she developed new clinical debriefing program Project Pow Wow, an escalation pathway for those seeking support. The program has been running successfully for the last year at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and is being expanded to other hospitals in WA in 2019.

But while Korbl has her sights set on her next goal – acceptance into her chosen speciality – she hopes to keep advocating for the wellbeing of junior doctors, and increased flexible working opportunities for medical mums and dads.

“I am adamant not to let my chosen career define who I am. I am a mum and have many interests outside of the hospital – it just so happens that I am also a doctor.”

REBECCA DAVIS