Madura Sundareswaran – one of Oamaru’s newest doctors – is working out of the North End Health Centre and Junction Doctors as a general practitioner. Tyson Young finds out more about her.
Q Where do you hail from, Madura?
I come from Peterborough – a town located in Ontario, Canada.
Q How long have you been a doctor for?
Not too long. I graduated medical school in 2016 and I finished my training in general practice earlier this year, in June.
Q How did you end up in New Zealand?
After starting my career, I thought it would be really valuable to gain some experience in a different healthcare setting. I also really enjoy hiking so I thought that this would be a really exciting place to visit. So far, it’s been great.
Q How long have you been in New Zealand?
I’ve been here for about three months now. It’s been really good.
Q Why did you choose to become a general practitioner?
I think, for me, there were a lot of aspects of medicine that I really enjoyed – I couldn’t find one particular part of it that I liked more than the other. General practice is really a little bit of everything. You are kind of a jack-of-all-trades. You get to see babies right up to people that are near the end of life. For me, it felt really nice to be able to look at things from a diverse perspective. You get to know people and their families, which is quite nice.
Q What’s the hardest part of your job?
I think the hardest part is actually dealing with a lot of uncertainty. You don’t always have an explanation or an answer for people if they’ve got an illness. A lot of the time, it’s about recognising your own limitations and being able to ask for help when you need to.
Q What’s the best part of the job?
What I love most about my job is that I appreciate that people feel that they can trust me. That’s always rewarding.
Q If you could catch up with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
That’s a tricky one. I’m currently reading Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, so I think it would be her right now. I think there is a lot you can do if you’re passionate about something. I can see just by reading her book and watching her speak, she is so incredibly driven and passionate about what it is she wants to do. I would love to be able to match that drive and that passion. I feel like after I spoke with her, I would want to change the world. There are a lot of people that make me feel that way, but right now she’s on the radar.