“All my friends were sitting the exam to get into medicine, so for fun, I decided to do it as well so that we were all doing it together, and I got in!

At the time, I was working at Westmead Hospital as a physiotherapist and was quite happy in my role.

Once I starting studying medicine, I think I originally wanted to be a neurologist, but then I learned about kidneys and I found them to be really interesting.

In nephrology there are a lot of puzzles and it’s one of the few specialities where you can actively treat the disease – ie. treat an organ failure with a transplant. I find the diversity around acute and chronic disease very exciting.

I see a lot of patients who are acutely sick and then also people who you look after for 30, 40, 50 years, so you’re part of their life journey.

I find being on a transplant team very rewarding and seeing people who you have diagnosed as a junior doctor finally get a transplant is very exciting.

I also like looking after people whose quality of life is poor and when things aren’t going well, planning for the worst and giving people a better quality of life. I particularly like doing that part of the job well.

I think you need to love your vocation, otherwise it will grind you down, and I really do.”

– Elke Woodhouse, WSLHD co-director of prevocational education and training

‘Humans of the Hospital’ is dedicated to the inspiring humans working at Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt Auburn and Cumberland hospitals in western Sydney.