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5 Minutes with...Dr Carmel Jacobs

Nov 2, 2020

Dr Carmel Jacobs 

Medical Oncologist 

Specialises in Genitourinary, Prostate

Graduated from Otago University School of Medicine 2001

What inspired you to study and practice medicine and why oncology?

That is an interesting question and one I get asked a lot. I first wanted to be a doctor after being admitted to hospital as a child and being in awe and inspired by the wonderful people who cared for me and made me better. I have always enjoyed caring for people, and am constantly amazed by the human body, so a medical degree seemed like a natural pathway.

Oncology interested me, as it deeply combines both the human body and the human spirit. These days it’s that human spirit which amazes me more often than the body itself. Oncology gives an opportunity to develop relationships with patients and their families that are unique and rewarding. Oncology is a fascinating discipline that is constantly evolving and progressing.  I love the challenge of constantly learning new information and using that knowledge to help my patients, who in turn help me by sharing a small part of their lives with me. 

Tell us about a couple of career highlights

In oncology we cherish the moments when our patients respond positively to treatment. Or the academic highlights of having research papers published in peer review journals. But the small personal moments that get shared with me are perhaps even more important. When a patient brings in pictures of a new-born grandchild or a family wedding, and I have played a small part in being able to get that person to that time, it is heart-warming. And sometimes it’s the very saddest times, when a patient is nearing the end of life, and they or their family express gratitude for sometimes what is really only kindness, it is incredibly humbling and makes me love what I do. 


Describe your professional self in three words

Caring, committed, trustworthy

Loves    My children (most of the time)   

Dislikes  Tinned fish

Fears    Wasps  

Pet Peeve         Cold feet

Deal-breaker    Burnt toast

To learn more about Dr Carmel Jacobs head over to her profile.

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