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Experienced physician and researcher appointed to lead medical services at Peninsula Health

Executive Director of Medical Services and Clinical Governance, Associate Professor Vikas Wadhwa

The new Executive Director of Medical Services and Clinical Governance, Associate Professor Vikas Wadhwa, brings decades of experience as a senior clinician, hospital administrator and researcher to Peninsula Health.

After starting his medical career in Queensland, Vikas, who is a respiratory and sleep physician, has gradually been making his way further south, culminating in his move to Peninsula Health in September.

“I was born in India and we left when I was seven,” recalls Vikas.  “I had Canadian and British schooling before moving to Townsville for High School and the University of Queensland for my undergraduate degree.”

This led to roles working in southern Queensland, Sydney, Wagga Wagga and most recently Eastern Health, where Vikas was the Clinical Director of Integrated Services and Director of General Medicine (Maroondah Hospital).

“I am really looking forward to the opportunity as an executive to go out on the wards and talk to patients about what we can do to improve,” says Vikas.  “I am trying to make sure that patients are at the centre of everything we do and that our team is as strong as it desires to be.”

This is Vikas’ first role which doesn’t involve directly caring for patients, though this is something he plans to change.

“I always think of myself as having a stethoscope around my neck – the stethoscope is always in the car ready to go,” says Vikas. “I think that is an important part of being a doctor, being able to see patients and I am hoping to do some clinical work here at Peninsula Health.”

Vikas is the executive sponsor for research – a perfect fit as he is also a passionate researcher himself and is part way through a PhD.

“One of my daughters has suffered a lot from allergies and hay fever over the years. We bought her an air purifier and it made a huge difference,” explains Vikas.

“Because of all her allergies and respiratory symptoms, I decided that was an area I wouldn’t mind understanding – how little children develop respiratory disease and is it happening early in life that there is a connection between viruses and allergy that leads to asthma and respiratory disease. So I am investigating that as part of my PhD.”

Outside of work, the father-of-two enjoys keeping fit and playing music.

“It is really important to have a balanced life. I have a pet cavoodle who joins me on a walk most days and I enjoy going to the gym.”

“I also play the piano and flute. I had some teaching on English tunes a long time ago, then I wanted to play Indian tunes, so I got some books and I self-teach. It’s a really good de-stressing exercise.”