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Psychiatrist swaps the UK for Australia

6 minutes read time Categories: Medical Career, Regulatory & Migration

An insight into the life of a Psychiatrist in Hobart, Tasmania

Interview: Dr. Jason Westwater - Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Wavelength isn’t just about finding you a medical job in a big metropolitan city. We offer a wide variety of locum and permanent jobs for doctors across all areas of Australia, including Tasmania.

To get an insight into the life of a Psychiatrist in Hobart, Tasmania, we chat with Dr. Jason Westwater, an experienced Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist who made the move from the UK to work as a doctor in Australia. We talked about how he’s enjoying a rewarding Psychiatry career and the rich lifestyle Hobart has to offer. 


Making a change for a better medical career and enviable lifestyle

Why did you decide to make the move to Australia?

I had previously worked as a Doctor in Sydney and I loved it. This move was about making a total life change where I could enjoy Australia’s climate and earn a considerably higher salary as a Psychiatrist, in terms of base earnings and additional benefits. While finances weren’t the main reason behind the move, a salary package for this role, with a car allowance and a very generous Continuing Professional Development (CPD) allowance helped. If I was still unsure, two additional weeks of study leave a year was the cherry on top.

What made you choose the Psychiatry role at the Royal Hobart Hospital?

I came for a visit and was really impressed with the team at the Royal Hobart Hospital, it was a big drawcard and I felt immediately won over. I spent one night in Hobart and one night in Launceston and really enjoyed the stunning natural beauty, amazing beaches and great scenery. Hobart had a really lovely feel.

You’ve been with the mental health service for over 8 years now, what has kept you in your role?

Job satisfaction, the team, medical and allied health colleagues, and the lifestyle. I love Tasmania and I’m extremely grateful to be living here. I still go back to the UK every year but there is no comparison when it comes to the lifestyle in Australia. The housing is also good and generally more affordable. As for the job, this Psychiatry role is rewarding and the service is very supportive. This particular role also provided me with the opportunity to undertake my Ph.D., which was also funded by the hospital and not many places do that. This has been great for giving me the freedom to follow special areas of interest in mental health.

What were the main differences you found between practicing Psychiatry in the UK vs practicing in Australia?

The Mental Health Act is different and there is more emphasis on private practitioners in Psychiatry, which is rarer in the UK. Although there is free health care, a large proportion use privately funded health professionals for ongoing care.

As for workload, in Australia it is more manageable, you’re not overrun and there are good systems in place for seeing young people and families in both the hospital and community setting. The junior support is of a similar level, including an advanced trainee in the community team and a regular trainee in the hospital team.

Currently, the Royal Hobart Hospital Mental Health Service is looking to hire a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist to help grow the service and cater to more patients in need. The role offers the chance to work in a state-of-the-art hospital that offers career progression and a great work-life balance. 

Enjoying all that Hobart has to offer


What are the highlights of living in Hobart?

The culture, history, beaches, restaurants, bars, waterfront with nightlife, the thriving arts scene including MONA which is a world class art gallery and museum. Sydney and Melbourne are also easily accessible by air. You can enjoy watching musicians and gigs, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, attend the theatre Royal, or music and food festivals. For a small city it packs a punch!

The climate is great too —it hardly ever rains. We have a dry, non-humid heat with an average winter temperature of 12 degrees and a summer average ranging from 20-30 degrees.

For those with children, there are plenty of options for schooling for a relatively small city including private and public schools, with many ranked amongst the best educators in Australia.


An easy move for a new Psychiatry role, with the right support
 


What was your experience with the College Assessment during your move?

The College Assessment process was the most challenging part, but I felt supported every step of way by the Wavelength Regulatory and Migration team. With AMC, RANZCP, AHPRA and visa applications, everything was clearly explained, and I was given assistance the whole way through. It can take up to 12 months, but the team at Wavelength ensured there was regular contact throughout the process, which made it easier.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us about your move to work abroad. We are sure this will help any doctor who is considering a move to work in Australia.

Glad I could help and I look forward to meeting passionate Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists to join our team.


Are you a Psychiatrist looking to make a change?

If you are interested in joining Jason’s Psychiatry team at the Royal Hobart Hospital, we are currently working closely with the Royal Hobart Hospital CAMHS recruiting for a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. This is a fantastic opportunity to progress your Psychiatry career and comes with an array of benefits such as:

  • Monday to Friday work week with minimal on-call requirements
  • Your weekends are free to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle Tasmania has to offer
  • Primarily work in a brand-new Paediatric Unit
  • The opportunity to pursue areas of interest including research and further education
  • Competitive salary, with education allowance and salary packaging

If this is something that interests you, register and download your complimentary brochure here for more details.