Dr Gareth Andrews is certainly an exceptional person; born in a blizzard on a small island called Mull on the West Coast of Scotland, he’s now an Anaesthetic Registrar based in Australia but in his spare time he has embarked on some incredible polar expeditions.
Gareth moved to Sydney in 2003 to study marine biology at Sydney University. On completion of his marine biology degree he stayed at Sydney University to read medicine and graduated in 2010. In 2013 he decided to walk 600 kilometres across the Arctic to reach the North Pole. Even more recently he has completed a ski traverse of the Greenland Ice Sheet unsupported from Ammassalik/Kulusuk on the East Coast to Kangerlussuaq on the West Coast, a distance of 550km. He is a doctor who follows his passion and lives his dream.
Gareth knows that being a doctor can be as challenging as it is rewarding, and he believes it’s important for all doctors to find a passion that goes beyond the workplace in order to stay fresh when it matters most. Even though fitting in training around night shifts can be hard, Gareth strives to reach a balance because he knows that it can be all too easy for doctors to become completely consumed in their work.Through his passion Gareth has to find time to learn about his challenge, to train, to get their right mental preparation and ultimately learn to use his equipment in the correct way to keep himself alive.
Gareth believes that this unique passion of his has made him a better doctor; "I think both on a clinical and on a general level it gives me a release basically away from the stress of the job for one; it gives me an inner confidence I think, especially working in something like anaesthetics which can have times of stress and things - acute stress; and it gives me sort of a confidence to be able to deal with those situations. I often think that nothing can be as hard as what we went through; there was some pretty tough times and so that often grounds me and makes me put things in perspective, especially at work. I think it has given me the ability to remain calm and go through logical thought processes in stressful times."
Celebrating Exceptional Doctors.
What drives doctors to #BeExceptional? These doctors are living examples in different ways and they are here to share their story with you.
Why you should follow your dreams Continuing his conversations with exceptional doctors, Dr Sam Hazeldine talked to anaesthetic registrar Dr Gareth Andrews about chasing and achieving his dreams alongside a successful medical career.
Chatting to MedWorld about his expeditions to the North Pole and Greenland, Dr Gareth Andrews highlights a number of key parallels between polar exploration and being a doctor. In his podcast with MedWorld’s Dr Sam Hazeldine, Gareth talks about how challenging himself outside of his career and perusing childhood dreams has helped him to become a better doctor.