Is there a doctor in the house?

Published on LCDR Linda Morris (author and photographer)

Topic(s): Naval College, Defence Force Recruiting, HMAS Sydney (IV)

LEUT Adrian Winsor (left) and LEUT Luke Edwards in HMAS Sydney's sickbay. (photo: LCDR Linda Morris)
LEUT Adrian Winsor (left) and LEUT Luke Edwards in HMAS Sydney's sickbay.

Close observers would have been surprised by the embarrassment of riches in HMAS Sydney’s sickbay when the Australian warship was leaving Cairns last Monday.

In addition to the ship's regular Clinical Manager, Petty Officer Daniel Fox, and the Advanced Medical Assistant, Leading Seaman Tom Pearson, and Medical Officer, Lieutenant Luke Edwards, who are both embarked for the ship's recent North East Asian Deployment - Sydney is also currently hosting Lieutenant Adrian Winsor, RANR, who is completing the fourth and final phase of the Reserve Entry Officers’ Course (REOC).

In his ‘day job’, Dr Adrian Winsor is an accomplished Rehabilitation Physician, who is based in Adelaide and has over 25 years experience as a doctor.

“I was looking for a challenge, and I was looking for something that combined my love of the sea with the desire to contribute service to the community. The Naval Reserve was the perfect answer,” said Lieutenant Windsor.

After contacting Defence Force Recruiting in 2011, Lieutenant Windsor completed Phases 1 and 3 of the Reserve Entry Officers’ Course (REOC) at HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay, and Phase 2 via distance learning, prior to embarking in HMAS Sydney for Phase 4: a Sea Training Deployment. What he hadn't counted on was the opportunity to learn from another doctor while on board.

“It has been particularly valuable to gain information from the existing doctor. I have been able to learn where he fits into the organisation and how he interacts with the rest of the team.”
The benefits of being the trainer haven't been lost on Lieutenant Edwards either.

“It's rewarding and a good opportunity for me to reinforce my own knowledge, learning and procedures. A second perspective and questions on the ‘why’ behind what we do is an excellent refresher in any situation.”

Lieutenant Winsor said that teamwork is the biggest similarity between his civilian role, in which he works as part of a rehabilitation team, and what he's experienced in the Navy so far.

“I've discovered that a team is what it's all about, whether that is in training at Creswell or here onboard Sydney.”

Following REOC, Lieutenant Winsor is looking forward to the next opportunity to be part of the team at sea. If you see him in out in the Fleet, be sure to make him feel welcome!