Internship opens doors for future medical researcher

Completing a CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program with St John of God Subiaco Hospital’s gynaecological oncology research team has given Kelly Reynolds real life experience that has opened her eyes to future career options.

St John of God Health Care Kelly Reynolds 

24 May 2018 

Kelly, who is in her final year of a biomedical science degree at Edith Cowan University, said the opportunity to complete an internship in the health and medical research field was not only rare but rewarding.

“Getting the real-life experience was eye opening for me,” she said.

“There are limits on what the university can teach, so it was invaluable to get the opportunity to spend time in a working research unit where I was able to understand the rigours of ethics proposals, get hands on clinical training and work with patients and researchers on real research.

Kelly said the internship had given her some insights into the different fields that she could continue in her career.

“Before starting the internship I had never considered a career in cancer research, however seeing the work being done in this area and getting an opportunity to work with experts in the field has inspired me to consider this path in the future,” she said.

“If St John of God Health Care didn’t offer this internship through CareerTrackers then I would never have considered this field and I am now considering doing my Masters and a PhD which I hope will continue to open more doors for me.”

Kelly completed the three-month internship over the summer of 2017/2018 and continues to work at St John of God Subiaco Hospital as a switchboard operator.

St John of God Health Care Group Coordinator Social Justice Advocacy Neal Murphy said that since partnering with CareerTrackers, the organisation has been able to support numerous indigenous interns.

“As a leading health care provider we have been able to provide experiences across a range of areas including in our hospitals and behind the scenes in research and workforce,” he said.

“It is wonderful to see success stories such as Kelly who was able to get real life experience in research which can be hard to access as a student without an internship such as this.

“I am really excited to see what Kelly will do next and we will continue to watch her career progress in biomedical research.”

As a Noongar/Wongi woman, Kelly said she was proud to be the first in her family to be making steps towards a career in medical research.

“My family has strong connections to Esperance with my Aunty and Uncle working building cultural awareness and the identification of cultural artefacts of significance respectively,” she said.

“Whenever I get the chance to go down to Esperance I take the time to go out bush which is where I feel most like myself and refresh before coming back to Perth.”