Q&A with Medical Intern Dr Jonathan Tran

Flying more than 14,000 km to study medicine at the University of Melbourne, Dr Jonathan Tran has since completed his studies and joins Peninsula Health as a Medical Intern, gaining the final skills necessary to become a fully qualified doctor. 

Inspired from a young age to work in medicine, Dr Tran is looking forward to developing his clinical knowledge and skills with each patient interaction while upholding his duty as a reliable, compassionate, and safe clinician. 

Learn more about Dr Tran and what he hopes to achieve from his medical internship below.   

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your background?  

A: I was born and raised in Canada, living there for most of my life until moving to Australia for medical school at the University of Melbourne. I’ve taken a bit of a winding road to get to this point, having previously completed an Honours Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree, at which point I felt the reasonable need to take some time off from school. I was able to travel and explore new parts of Canada that I hadn’t previously seen, including the east coast. With a new plan of moving across the world to study medicine, I worked for 2 years to save up some money for the journey of a lifetime, down under. 

Q: What excites you most about completing your medical internship at Peninsula Health?   

A: I am most excited about the opportunity to work in a new health network, to branch out from my previous comfort zone, and meet new colleagues. Peninsula Health’s supportive culture has really been evident over the last few weeks working within the Emergency Department.  I look forward to progressing my learning further and improving my clinical skills throughout this year. I am also very excited about the added benefits of working so close to the beautiful coastal scenery of the Mornington Peninsula, and I hope to be able to enjoy some more beach days. 

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in medicine? 

A: My inspiration to pursue a career in medicine was sparked from my early childhood experiences as a patient, when my life changed for the better with the help of my long-term doctor. I created a goal to try to improve the lives of others and as I got older, I found myself getting involved with volunteer work in healthcare organisations and not-for-profit community outreach services offering health support and education. Over the last decade, I have developed a keen interest in improving health outcomes for the community. With a career in medicine, I hope to continue advocating, supporting, and empowering patients to optimise their health. 

Q: Do you have any goals for your internship? 

A: My main goal for internship is to continue learning from my colleagues and mentors to further improve as a junior doctor. I hope to continue developing my clinical knowledge and skills with each patient interaction while upholding my duty as a reliable, compassionate, and safe clinician.  

Q: What do you believe to be some of the most pressing health issues today? Why? 

A: One of the most pressing health issues today, in Australia, is the gap in primary care, especially in regional and rural communities, relating to inadequate personnel, support, and funding. This is creating stress on the healthcare system, leading to overall poorer health outcomes for patients. Another key issue, which became very evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, is the lack of integration of the health system. While completing my research project in my final year of medical school, I was fortunate to be able to gain insight from the perspective of clinicians across Australia, into how these stressors have negatively impacted both the care and wellbeing of patients and staff. 

Q: How do you see the future of healthcare? 

A: The future of healthcare is one that is holistic and patient-centred, taking into account the social determinants of health, with a focus largely on more upstream disease prevention as opposed to treatment. I believe the healthcare system is moving towards a system of integration and collaboration, with the goal of continually improving the quality of patient care. 

Q: What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine? 

A: Outside of medicine I like to keep active – playing basketball and football, skiing, and exploring nature through hiking and camping. I’ve really enjoyed travelling around Australia over the last few years, and one of my most memorable experiences was an overnight hike through Wilson’s Prom. I look forward to exploring more around the Peninsula! I also enjoy listening to music, cooking, teaching, and helping with community outreach, which I’ve continued into internship.