Dr Marjad Page is probably the only person in the hospital system who can make the job of Medical Administration sound remotely interesting, but he is taking up the challenge with great energy and passion, and has just been appointed Assistant Director of Medical Services at the North West Hospital and Health Service (NWHHS).
Dr Page said it was the last choice he would have made when he went into medicine.
“Medical administration would have been last on my list regarding professions but as you continue to work in medicine, you realise control is illusion and influence is real.
“In a position such as a Medical Administrator, you can actually influence hundreds and thousands of people at one time through strategy and policy contrasted with a clinician who can influence one or two at a time.
“Both are needed in medicine, but as an administrator your voice is heard a lot more.
“I want my job to be like a microphone, only working for the better for my people,” Dr Page said.
To that end, he is undertaking a fellowship program with the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators, of which Associate Professor Dr Alan Sandford, the Executive Director Medical Services and Clinical Governance at the NWHHS is Chief Surveyor, and Dr Page’s supervisor, and who encouraged him along this pathway.
The Kalkadoon, Waanyi & Ganggalidda doctor who is a Christian, born and bred in Mount Isa, explains it is mainly to help his own people, and help close the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
“As I have got further into medicine, I can see medical administration as a way of really helping First Nations people, but also bridging the gap through relationships between First Nations people and organisations like the Hospital and Health Service.”
Dr Page explains medical administration is about listening, education and doing the right things, not just doing things right.
“It’s about cultural awareness and cultural safety, critical race theory, and looking at how we see certain ethnic groups.
“It’s also about helping people in hospital and outside to understand the processes better.”
Dr Page is also completing his advanced training in palliative care, and he is another fellowship program for this.
This necessitates him staying for two weeks in Townsville and two weeks in Mount Isa, where along with the medical admin position, he also helps out as an anaesthetist.
“There’s a lot of travel, and it’s not easy with my family in Ipswich,” he said.
Once he has finished all his study, his dream job would be to work in Medical Administration and Palliative Care, helping services like Gidgee Healing. He will still keep up his anaesthetics as well.
He admits that he is a bit of an ‘all rounder’ when it comes to medical specialities.