Local doctor comes full circle

Dr Vanessa Hughes

In 2006, Dr Vanessa Hughes left her hometown in rural Australia to study a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at the University of Adelaide. Today, Vanessa holds positions as both a General Practitioner, working in a local practice, and as a Lecturer at the University of Adelaide Medical School.

Vanessa was born in the United Kingdom. At age two she emigrated to the Northern Territory with her parents and older sister.   

“This small town upbringing provided exposure to health and social inequities that ignited my passion in healthcare. Having school friends who would have loved to study interstate at University, but didn’t have the means to do so, ensured I embraced the opportunity and never took my tertiary education for granted,” said Vanessa. 

“Coming from the country meant I had to live away from home during my University studies, which incurred significant expense." 

“With the scholarship I was able to prioritise my academic pursuits, for which I am very grateful.”

“Without the scholarship I would have been under pressure to work more hours to fund my studies, accommodation expenses and medical textbooks. I dare say that would have come as a detriment to my academic success. Additionally, I was able to travel to Alice Springs during University holidays to do medical placements, which furthered my experience in rural and remote Medicine.”

Life after university

After completing her MBBS, Vanessa spent several years working at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, before embarking on specialty training in General Practice. 

“In recent years I feel I have come full circle in a sense, as I am now teaching students at the University of Adelaide Medical School, in addition to my clinical work.”

*Dr Vanessa Hughes teaches Clinical Practice (interviewing and examining patients) and Medical Personal and Professional Development (communication, ethics and medicolegal). 

Career highlights

“Helping patients navigate the difficult road of terminal illness, providing quality palliative care and guiding the family members left behind through their grief is always rewarding, despite how challenging it can be. Advocating for vulnerable patients, witnessing others conquer addiction, helping some to maintain their independence and meeting the babies of new parents, are all part of the daily highlights reel from a day in General Practice."

A message for our donor community

“I was honoured to be a recipient of the Augustus Short Scholarship and would like to pass on my sincerest thanks to past and future donors to the fund."

"The value of such a gift should not be underestimated – it can literally change the course of a young person’s career, and indeed their life.”

You can make a gift online in honour of Dr Augustus Short or by getting in touch with our Development team on +61 8 8313 5800 or development@adelaide.edu.au

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