MQ Health - Macquarie University

People at MQ Health

Behind every clinician, patient, student and health professional, there is a story

Meet the people who make us who we are.

MQ Health - Nabeel

Nabeel, General Surgeon

“I was born in Egypt, and I decided to leave when I was 21 during the Six-Day War. I had been volunteering with the Red Cross to triage casualties in the Sinai Desert, and I returned home to Alexandria with the conviction to leave my country. I had planned to complete my surgical training in England, but decided instead to come straight to Australia, and I’ve never looked back.

The advent of the keyhole surgery revolution was a very exciting time. I was one of the early adopters of the technique, and the speed with which the movement and technology evolved over those first years was ground-breaking. It also led me down a path, interest and speciality I’m still on now; in fact, I’m training on using the robotic surgery machine right now. With robotics, we can quite literally achieve the impossible; there are physical limits to what a surgeon can achieve, but robotics allows us to go above and beyond anything else we’ve ever achieved as humans.”

MQ Health - Kevin

Kevin, Interventional Radiologist

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I finished high school; I was 17 when I filled out my university admissions form and I really didn’t know what life was about – I just followed my nose. To say I got lucky is an understatement. I’ve had many amazing mentors since I started studying who have taken me under their wing and helped me find direction. They’ve all been very generous with their time and the effort they put into my training, and now it’s nice to be able to give back and do the same for the students here.

I feel like this is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – I’m right here, on the ground floor, during the establishment of a new medicine faculty with a brand new way of working, and I want to make sure I make the most of it.

I teach Interventional Radiology and last year joined the Anatomy program, and I’m learning a lot from the process. When you have to explain complex concepts to students, or answer their curly questions, you realise where your own deficiencies are. It’s really improved my clinical practice, makes the work more enjoyable, and is incredibly rewarding.”

MQ Health - Ash

Ash, Angiogram Patient

“About eight years ago, I was at my office down near the Opera House when I decided it was time to start exercising again. At lunch-time I would see all the runners, down by the harbour, exercising along the promenade and it inspired me to start running. That’s when the chest pain started. When it didn’t subside, I got it checked out and found out I needed to have heart surgery to replace a valve that was starting to fail.

It’s funny how things work out. Many years ago, I started out my career as a nurse specialising in cardiology and intensive care, and here I was, needing treatment for my own heart at the very same hospital I used to work. All those same issues I used to explain to patients every day were suddenly being told me.

I’ve just been given the all clear this morning, but it was a very sobering experience being back there, on the other side of the hospital bed.”

MQ Health - Shayan

Shayan, Clinical Science Student

“Helping people is my motivation – making a positive impact on peoples’ lives in some way. And I think healthcare is the greatest way to be able to do that. Paul Farmer, the anthropologist and humanitarian doctor, makes a great case for healthcare being a basic human right, just like food, water and shelter are. I strongly believe in this.

And reflection is such an integral process in helping others. Being a doctor is about growing, challenging my own assumptions and changing, so it’s a lifetime commitment to learning. I’ll be a student from day one to my last day working.

I know that Sydney already has enough doctors, so after I graduate I’d love to go somewhere where there’s a lack of healthcare, like rural Australia or overseas. Somewhere there’s a real need.”

Sherrie Love - MQ Health

Sherrie, Senior Learning Designer

“Education is something that’s just not in my family; my parents left school early to work, and that was the norm. But that didn’t stop them from being amazing teachers to my brother and I. From a very young age, my dad fostered a love of education in us. He taught us to do so much, and how to do it well: from how to change a tyre, to how to gap a spark plug. Although they might be things I’ll never do, it was his way of educating us in the best way he could – and that has filtered through to my life as a real passion for education.

MQ Health Taryn

Taryn, Physiotherapy Lecturer

“Like many physiotherapists, I was an athlete in my teenage years. I was an elite swimmer – a breaststroker with knee problems – and was treated by physios while I was growing up, so I knew a lot about the profession from a sporting perspective. But I didn’t realise how broad it was; there’s a common misconception that physiotherapy is just about the body, but it’s so much more than that.

One of the most rewarding opportunities I’ve had is to work with patients with traumatic brain injury. It’s a complex mix of things, from the neurological to the orthopaedic, and it keeps me constantly challenged. And the patients are so inspiring: from a triathlete who was struck by a car while training, to an SAS troop stationed in Afghanistan who was injured in a Black Hawk helicopter crash, it’s amazing to be able to work with them and then bring that experience into the classroom. Helping the students to think outside the box and challenge perceptions of the profession is what it’s all about.”

MQ Health- Mia

Mia, Clinical Science Student

“I was that kid, the one who broke every single bone in their body all the time. Both my mum and grandma are nurses, so I always thought that it was normal to end up in hospital regularly. I also grew up thinking that the benefits of medical treatment were available to everyone, and only realised that was not the case when I went with my family on a trip to Africa. Even the most basic medical procedures that are available to us here were hard to come by in most places, and that was a huge motivation in me deciding to become a doctor.

A few years ago, my grandma was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). I hadn’t even heard of it before and at first I couldn’t quite understand what it was about. During her treatment, it was amazing to see so many different medical professionals working together on such a complex disease; I’d never imagined seeing a nutritionist and a neurosurgeon working together, but they do on MND patients.

She passed away on New Year’s Eve two years ago. Discovering that she was treated by Professor Rowe, who runs the MND Centre at Macquarie, was a surprising coincidence. Having those who cared for through her illness at the same place I study is amazing.”

MQ Health - Joshua

Joshua, Clinical Science Student

“When I finished school, I had plans to study commerce, but realised I really needed to reflect more about what I wanted to do with my life. As a Christian, I’ve always been inspired by the work of humanitarian doctors, and the idea of being able to serve in that way was very appealing to me. So, I spoke about it with my family, and decided to give it a shot. I’ve still got a road ahead of me before I can do that, but it’s the inspiration that keeps me going.

My father is a specialist in Chinese herbal medicine, and even though that’s an alternative therapy, it was inspiring to watch him continue to learn and grow throughout his career. Ultimately, that’s what I want – the ability to be able to continue to learn and progress until I’m old.”