A group of eight Year 2 VET Allied Health students today attended the ‘Meet a Scientist’ event at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. The event is run as part of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Students had a rare opportunity to hear from women at the top of their field in medicine, medical research, epidemiology and psychology.

Dr Michelle Peate discussed the success of her research into ways of supporting women psychologically when trying to have children after a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Louise Owen, a leading Neonatologist and Medical Consultant at the Royal Women’s Hospital, outlined research that has changed the way premature babies are treated, particularly around supporting them to breathe with under-developed lungs. Students were given a demonstration of ventilating new born and premature babies.

Epidemiologist, Dr Dorothy Machalek, discussed and demonstrated HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) screening and current research. Her compelling results show that the introduction of Gardasil vaccinations in 2007 has reduced HPV rates from 25% in 2007 to less than 2% in 2016.

Finally, Dr Sarah Holdsworth-Carson discussed her research into endometriosis and current research into treatments and preventions. Dr Hodlsworth-Carson also reiterated the importance of creating awareness of health issues affecting women to all people of all ages. The aim is to better support women and girls to manage what can be debilitating and life-threatening diseases.

BSSC students had an outstanding day and have been motivated to pursue their careers in the medical and health industry, with some students also interested in medical research in the future.