As a consultant, there is a huge potential to create meaningful societal impact; this is especially evident for our National Health, Management Consulting team.
For example, take Dr Helen Vickery, Manager with PwC, who has worked across a range of influential projects - from designing a cardiology service model to increasing access to emergency treatments for regional Queenslanders, to designing a satellite dialysis unit that allows care to be delivered closer to home for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; the positive change created in collaboration with clients has been profound.
“Since working with PwC I have seen how by working together with our clients, we are able to have an enormous impact on society through tackling some of the healthcare system’s biggest challenges.”
Before moving from industry into PwC, Helen initially worked as a doctor in the UK. She then moved to Australia to specialise in Intensive Care Medicine. Despite practicing in a different area of work, she already shared a key skill and interest with the passionate people of PwC - problem solving.
“In the intensive care unit (ICU), patients diagnoses are often complex and can deteriorate really quickly; I really enjoyed problem solving to initiate treatment and seeing rapid results for patients.”
It was while Helen was working in ICU that she saw first-hand how an outcome for an individual can be dramatically different based on the time to treatment. It was from this that her drive for improving the healthcare system to benefit patient outcomes was kindled.
“I have always been very passionate about people being able to access the best medical care in their time of need. When patients are critically ill we talk about the ‘golden hour’, which is the time period following an acute event in which there is the highest likelihood that accessing prompt medical or surgical treatment can prevent death. Receiving the right treatment rapidly is often the result of the system performing well as a team.”
Now leveraging her unique experiences and knowledge to consult, Helen collaborates with clients to improve the delivery of Australian healthcare. The specific work Helen undertakes involves working with hospital and health related services to analyse complex information and use evidence based decision making to design and implement solutions that improve access and outcomes for patients.
“I use my clinical knowledge and operational experience, from working as a doctor in the health system, to optimise patient and population health outcomes by influencing policy and practice. I provide a unique perspective and help to build trust with clinical stakeholders which provides huge value to our clients.”
As for Helen’s advice for any woman looking to make a similar move into Consulting or professional services?
“Follow your passion. Don’t be worried about changing your career path to do something that you enjoy. Your life experience as well as your professional experience will add to your unique skill set. Since working at PwC I have been really well supported by my team including Christopher Rogan and Christopher Norton in making the transition from clinical medicine to management consulting.”
“Better decisions are made when there are people with a diversity of opinions; often gained from different backgrounds and experiences. Don’t feel like you need to conform to the traditional leadership stereotype; as a woman you bring an imperative perspective and can challenge traditional ways of approaching problems.”