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08 Mar 2017

Professor Imogen Mitchell

University attended: Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, University of London

Specialty: Intensive Care


Other career achievements/accolades/titles/positions:

1998-1999        ICU Specialist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

1999-2014         Director ICU, The Canberra Hospital

2013-2014        Harkness Fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health 

2014-2016        Deputy Dean, ANU Medical School

2014 to date    Senior Intensive Care Specialist, The Canberra Hospital

2017to date      Dean, ANU Medical School



What obstacles have you faced as a woman in medicine? How were you able to overcome them?

If I am honest, I am not completely convinced I have faced any obstacles as a woman. I have just been determined to achieve what I wanted to achieve.

What has been your career highlight to date?

Truly hard to pick one thing…

Being an intensive care specialist and caring for the critically ill has been an enormous privilege and continues to be. To be with patients and families at one of their toughest times of their lives is an extraordinary privilege.

Having the opportunity to help turn a nearly disaccredited ICU into a fully accredited training ICU was amazing.

Leading an exceptional group of people to develop an education package on patient deterioration, COMPASS, which is used around Australia and parts of the world has been fantastic.

And…to be given the opportunity to lead a medical school in a prestigious university has been an exceptional experience.

During your training, did you ever encounter any negative gender-based comments?

I suspect so but if I am honest, I am not sure they have registered with me. I am aware of being in the same room where other women have experienced negative gender based comments.

What commitments do you have outside of work and how challenging do you find maintaining a work-life balance? 

I have work life balance but just a lot on both sides!

I am lucky to be married to someone who understands that my career is important to me.

Quality time with my 9 year old daughter is very special…movie nights on Friday! We also cook together (her meringue is better than mine is!) and I grow vegetables..although tough in the Canberra climate!

What advice would you give to young female medical students with high career aspirations?

You can achieve anything you want to achieve, you need determination, you need persistence but at the same time humility and empathy. Importantly, find a mentor how can help you along the way.

Published: 08 Mar 2017