Dr Moya Wood explains why she is so supportive of Notre Dame medicine students

19 June 2020

For many years, Dr Moya Wood has been supporting Notre Dame medical students through generous donations, even kick-starting the gifts to the Medical Student Assistance Fund (MSAF). Many students have benefitted from Dr Wood’s kindness, and she couldn’t be happier about it.

Dr Wood’s own journey into the medical industry started with a gentle push from some of her close friends.

“I just sort of fell into medicine to be perfectly honest,” Dr Wood says with a smile, “I declined the peer pressure to go down the pub and chose medical textbooks instead. My friends were doing it and wanted me to do it, so I guess I did sort of get pressured into it by my peers!”

Dr Wood graduated in 1976, at a time when ultrasounds had yet to be introduced to the medical world and checking on a baby in the womb had to be done by feel. Much has changed since then, but Dr Wood has never stopped practicing medicine, currently working in partnership with her daughter Penny, a Notre Dame medical graduate.

Whether down to her own experience of studying medicine, or watching her daughter go through the rigorous study required to become a qualified doctor, Dr Wood has a keen understanding of the stress medical students can be under.

“I think it can be quite stressful for some students when they're first starting off,” Dr Wood says, “And they might be away from home or away from family support, you just don't know what the circumstances are.

I love my fellow doctors, they're all fantastic, and I think financial assistance might relieve some of the stress, just knowing that there is some support there if they fall on hard times for any reason.

“Not everyone will need to use it, and it isn’t much money, but it’s nice to know that there are resources available.”

Over the past few months students have been doing it especially tough because of the COVID-19 crisis. However, Moya sees her donations as a chance to help not only this generation of doctors, but also future generations. The students who need assistance right now will be able to continue their studies, enter the profession, and become fully-fledged doctors, enabling them to perhaps pay the kindness forward by supporting the next generation.

While Dr Wood says she is happy to be supporting Notre Dame on an ongoing basis, she does state a few key pieces of advice for students going through the School of Medicine, based on a life in the profession.

“Enjoy the career,” she says, “it really is a fantastic career. Don’t get too stressed, have some fun, and just take it easy when you need to. I sometimes get patients who come in stressed and saying, ‘but what if I'm going to die?’ and I usually say, ‘well, you could get hit by a bus tomorrow. We just have to enjoy every day.’ You never know what's around the corner.”

Discover more about gifting to the fund online.

Media Contact: Breyon Gibbs : +61 8 9433 0569 | breyon.gibbs@nd.edu.au