Medical student Tamara Johansen balances her seven-month-old son Seth and a demanding study schedule with support from her husband Jonathan.
Medical student Tamara Johansen balances her seven-month-old son Seth and a demanding study schedule with support from her husband Jonathan. Bev Lacey

Tamara has right balance as new mum and a medical degree

TAMARA Johansen knows what it means to be busy.

The fourth year medical student is studiously preparing for her final two exams with highlighter in hand under the careful watch of seven-month-old son Seth.

No stranger to intense study demands, Mrs Johansen is two weeks from finishing her second degree - her first was a veterinary science degree.

But medicine has always been her career passion and while she is just weeks away from her goal, the journey hasn't been simple.

"It's been quite a journey," she said.

"I finished school and did vet science at University of Sydney because, to be honest, I didn't get into medicine when I finished school (at Fairholme) even though I had an OP 1.

"Vet science was my next choice and I gave it a really good go and practised for five years in Brisbane."

But cost of care concerns for people's beloved pets pushed her into medicine, following in the family tradition.

Her father is a pharmacist, mother a midwife, sister an optometrist and brother also studying medicine, and with their support as well as that of husband Jonathan, Mrs Johansen will join the medical ranks of the family.

The latest addition to her family, son Seth, also understands the pressures of his mother's study load.

"I finished my (third year) paediatrics rotation on the Friday and went into labour that afternoon," Mrs Johansen said.

"He came the next day."

Mrs Johansen was awarded the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland student prize award for Griffith University earlier this year for her dedication to the subject field.

She thanked her parents Jeannie and Warren Barton and husband Jonathan for their support, and will next year join the ranks of doctors at the Toowoomba Hospital.



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