Aren't we lucky to have so many fabulous women to feature here on Mums who Study? Well, today's Mum was an Australian of the Year in 2005 and well-known surgeon... of course, I am talking about Professor Fiona Wood! I am certain most of you will know of Professor Wood and I am very excited to share my interview with her...
About Professor Fiona Wood
Professor Fiona Wood is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon specialising in acute burn care and scar reconstruction. Fiona Wood was born in a Yorkshire mining village in England in 1958. In 1978 she was one of twelve women admitted to the St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School, London where she graduated with her M.B., B.S in 1981.
Wood completed her internship and residency at several hospitals in London before immigrating to Australia in 1987. She then took up a registrar position in plastic surgery at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth. By 1991 Wood had passed the plastic surgery exam and become a consultant. She began working with medical scientist Marie Stoner in 1993 on a method for burns treatment at the Royal Perth (RPH) and Princess Margaret (PMH) hospitals.
From this collaboration an entirely new, and more successful, method of treatment was developed. Thus, in 1995, Cellspray®, a spray-on solution of skin cells, was launched and in 1999 Wood and Stoner founded Clinical Cell Culture (C3). Wood’s expertise in burns treatment came to the world’s attention in 2002 in the wake of the Bali bombings but she hasn’t let fame stand in the way of her research or teaching which she continues at the RPH, the PMH and the University of Western Australia.
Fiona is married to Tony Kierath – a West Australian surgeon and is also mother four boys and
What were some of your biggest challenges?
Challenges take many forms and to approach challenges as opportunities may sound trite but is an illustration of a positive mindset which is a whole lot better to live with than the opposite!
Did you ever feel like giving up and If yes, what did you do to keep motivated and persevere?
It is not weakness to accept help from others - it is part of life accepting help and helping others - both good examples.
What tips or advice can you offer other mums who are studying with children?
May sound boring but eating well, taking regular exercise and sleeping where you can all helps to make sure each day is as good as it can be.
You have also managed to develop a business doing what you love -what words of wisdom can you pass on about having dreams and following them through?
I am a great believer in following your own path rather than believing what others tell you! Staying true to yourself is a strength we should strive for. What feels right is a good guide!
You have a husband and six children. How do you juggle it all?
Well, my children are older now – the youngest is 20 - so it is a lot easier than when they were all young! But my family has always been very supportive of my work and understands its value. It is about being organised, and making sure I have time for everything, including my own wellbeing and exercise. Having such a great team of professionals around me in every area of my work also makes life easier. I don’t really see it as a juggle – when you love doing something, you somehow just make it all work.
Thank you so much Professor Wood for joining the conversation here on Mums who Study!
To learn more about Professor Wood's work visit the Fiona Wood Foundation.