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Student spotlight: Honor Magon

Honor Magon might just be busier than your average medical student. Between finishing her current rotation at the PA Hospital in Brisbane, and getting to her next meeting as Medical Student Representative on the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMAQ), she makes time to chat to us about why she loves her hectic schedule, and how our Medical Leadership Program (MLP) helps her to make it all happen.

Honor is in her final year of a Bachelor of Medicine at The University of Queensland (UQ), and halfway through the Medical Leadership Program (MLP). The MLP is a tailor-made Graduate Certificate in Business Leadership designed for UQ Medical students and resident doctors in Australia. It was developed by UQ Business School Executive Education in partnership with UQ Faculty of Medicine.

She’s also on the Queensland Council of Doctors in Training, where she was part of a working group around a resident hospital health check. The state-wide survey aims to understand workplace culture, wellbeing and career growth opportunities in Queensland hospitals from the perspective of a junior doctor.

“The wellbeing and lifestyle of medical professionals is something I’m really passionate about,” Honor says.

She has her sights set on bettering patient care and the care provided for medical professionals.

She is also the co-convenor of the 2017 National Leadership Development Seminar for junior doctors  – an event run by the Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA). The event aims to show medical students about the myriad medical leadership career options they have, and the pathways they can take to get there.

As if that isn’t enough to keep her busy, she’s also working on a social enterprise focused on mental wellness with two 2014 MLP alumni – an indication of the connections the program can build between peers, industry, ideas, and innovation.

Honor credits the MLP with helping her to navigate the opportunities and initiatives she has on her plate.

“I’m half way through the program, but so far it’s taught me a lot about the fast changing nature of the medical industry, and allowed me to build confidence and leadership know-how,” she says.

Not only are these skills useful for career building opportunities, Honor says they come in handy when you’re spending a lot of time in a hospital environment - which can be intimidating in a clinical sense and as a learning environment.

She recalls numerous occasions on rotation where she’d end the day flung on the couch, overwhelmed by hospital goings-on.

“You’re thrown into a unique ecosystem that most people don’t understand, even people who have been there for a long time,” she says.

“You’re trying to retain all the clinical information you think you need at any given time, and while you’re not calling the shots, there are times when you’re left alone or when things don’t go to plan.”

While some view soft skills as secondary to the technical side of medicine, it is during these times that knowing how to conduct yourself as a leader, work autonomously under pressure, or as part of a team, become paramount.

“A lot of people think they’ll learn leadership skills on the job, but I think we need to start developing this skillset from the start,” says Honor.

“It certainly helps me to navigate tough situations, and harness better interpersonal and communication skills as I develop my career,” she says.

 

To learn more about the Medical Leadership Program, click here.
 

 

Medical Leadership Program student, Honor Magon.
“A lot of people think they’ll learn leadership skills on the job, but I think we need to start developing this skillset from the start”
Honor Magon, Medical Leadership Program participant