Mastering Intensive Care 025 with Sarah Yong

What are the biggest challenges when beginning as a fully-fledged intensive care clinician? How do you best use your senior colleagues when your experience bank is still small? What can you do to help achieve gender equity in intensive care medicine? These are some of the questions you’ll ponder as you listen to the latest Mastering Intensive Care podcast guest Dr Sarah Yong from Melbourne.



Having started off 2018 with two “Best of 2017” episodes on the podcast, today allows you the opportunity to hear a new interview. I am enthusiastic and passionate about bringing you some further valuable perspectives on improving how we do our jobs in intensive care units around the world. And this year I’m hoping to branch out a bit and try some new things and some new types of guests. Mastering Intensive Care is not just about interviewing older and experienced intensivists. It’s also about hearing some of the challenges from less experienced intensivists as they traverse the early days of their careers. So in this episode you’ll hear from Sarah who is right in the middle of this phase working at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

After graduating from The University of Melbourne, she completed training in general medicine before obtaining her fellowship of intensive care medicine. Along with critical care, she has a strong interest in education, simulation and the free open-access medical education (FOAMed) revolution. She is currently completing a Masters in Clinical Education in non-technical skills in intensive care. Sarah is a strong advocate for her peers including convening the Victorian Primary Exam Course, chairing the Trainee Committee and being the New Fellows’ Representative for the College of Intensive Care Medicine here in Australia and New Zealand. She is a founding convenor of the Women in Intensive Care Medicine Network, which is dedicated to improving the gender balance in Australasian Intensive Care Medicine through advocacy, research and networking.

I really enjoyed talking with Sarah. She is eloquent, mature, humble and honest; and she has a great perspective on how we can all take action to achieve improved gender balance in intensive care. In the episode we talk about many things, including:

  • What attracted Sarah to intensive care
  • The rewards of delivering end of life conversations
  • Whether she can sustain a lifelong career in the specialty
  • How she dealt with the transition between trainee and fully fledged specialist
  • Her utilization of other colleagues to support her ever-improving experience base
  • The characteristics of the senior specialists who stood out to her
  • What habits she is concentrating on to develop professionally
  • How she has learnt and developed her communication skills
  • Her excellent approach to a family conversation
  • Dealing with the demands of an intensive care career
  • Preparing at home for a busy clinical week
  • Blending family and career
  • The main gender-related issues women face in intensive care
  • Sarah’s work with the Women In Intensive Care network
  • Her advice for current trainees

Show notes


My genuine hope with the Mastering Intensive Care podcast is to inspire and empower you to bring your best self to the ICU by listening to the perspectives of such thought-provoking guests as Wes Ely. I passionately believe we can all get better, both as carers and as people, so we can do our absolute best for those patients whose lives are truly in our hands.

Feel free to leave a comment on the Facebook “mastering intensive care” page, on the LITFL episode page, on Twitter using #masteringintensivecare, or by sending me an email at andrewATmasteringintensivecare.com.

Further reading and listening

Mastering Internsive Care 700

Mastering Intensive Care

with Andrew Davies

Dr Andrew Davies MBBS FRACP FCIC. Intensivist/researcher at Frankston Hospital, Melbourne. Aiming to bring my best self to work & life. | Mastering Intensive Care | New Normal project |

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