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Plastic surgeon who resigned from her high-profile role details how it ‘broke’ her 

A Sydney surgeon who exposed the horror working conditions she endured as a junior doctor has revealed how the industry ‘broke’ her in just four months.

Dr Yumiko Kadota resigned from Bankstown Hospital after working 24 days straight, and spent the next six weeks in hospital being treated for sleep deprivation.

Since resigning from the intense position, Dr Kadota took to a personal blog to expose the poor working conditions endured by junior ‘trainee’ doctors. 

She poured more than a decade of her life into studying medicine and surgery, but quickly fled the profession after experiencing the ‘toxic’ workplace culture. 

Dr Yumiko Kadota (pictured) resigned from Bankstown Hospital after working 24 days straight, and spent the next six weeks in hospital being treated for sleep deprivation 

Since resigning from the intense position, Dr Kadota took to a personal blog to expose the poor working conditions endured by junior 'trainee' doctors 

Since resigning from the intense position, Dr Kadota took to a personal blog to expose the poor working conditions endured by junior ‘trainee’ doctors 

Dr Kadota completed six years at university, one year of an internship and two years of residency before she had her first unaccredited registrar term in plastic surgery.

The position was at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital in Sydney’s west and she started in February 2018. 

Talking to ABC’s 7:30 Report, she said the long hours in the busy hospital were horrific, but she’s learnt to put her health first.

‘It was four months of hell,’ the 31-year-old doctor said. 

The 31-year-old exposed the industry and detailed how the first years working in the health system can be a brutal experience for all young doctors. 

Dr Kadota was traumatised by the end of the four months, but unfortunately it’s not an uncommon situation.  

‘From the first week I was working extremely long hours and there was one particular week that stands out to me now which is a week where I had a 12-hour day on the Monday, and then 20 hours on the Tuesday and 16 hours on the Wednesday,’ she said.

In her first month alone, Dr Kadota worked more than 100 hours of overtime and raised concerns with the medical administration.

The combination of stress, sleep deprivation, dehydration and poor nutrition quickly took a toll on her body and Dr Kadota became unwell, disheveled and burnt out.

The combination of stress, sleep deprivation, dehydration and poor nutrition quickly took a toll on her body and Dr Kadota became unwell, disheveled and burnt out

The combination of stress, sleep deprivation, dehydration and poor nutrition quickly took a toll on her body and Dr Kadota became unwell, disheveled and burnt out

The 31-year-old exposed the industry and detailed how the first years working in the health system can be a brutal experience for all young doctors

The 31-year-old exposed the industry and detailed how the first years working in the health system can be a brutal experience for all young doctors

‘I think over the years I’ve learnt to ignore some of the more mental symptoms of feeling stressed. But when my body started to break down that’s when I knew I was starting to get some gut problems and that was the big sign to me that my body wasn’t right,’ she said.

The young doctor first documented her long journey in a blog post titled ‘The ugly side of becoming a surgeon’. 

She revealed how she transitioned from ‘bright-eyed and bushy-tailed beginnings’ into ‘the worst working days of my life’. 

She described her career trajectory as a ‘demise’, but stressed that she didn’t want to discourage people from entering the industry, only to raise awareness of the ‘toxic surgical environment that still exists in Australia’. 

Dr Kadota was traumatised by the end of the four months, but unfortunately it's not an uncommon situation

Dr Kadota was traumatised by the end of the four months, but unfortunately it’s not an uncommon situation

Dr Kadota said she was lauded as one of the top surgical interns her hospital had ever seen. 

The encouragement made her the first to enter the hospital and the last to leave, soaking up all the information she could. 

A senior neurosurgeon constantly overlooked her for assignments, instead choosing in ‘favour of a pretty girl’.

The same neurosurgeon would constantly taunt her, saying she was on a ‘downward spiral’ and telling her to take her clothes off in Japanese.

The hospital became a home and a workplace all in one.

Workdays spanning 20 hours meant there was no time to go home and sleep before her next shift started.

Dr Kadota said she was lauded as one of the top surgical interns her hospital had ever seen 

Dr Kadota said she was lauded as one of the top surgical interns her hospital had ever seen 

She poured more than a decade of her life into studying medicine and surgery, but quickly fled the profession after experiencing the 'toxic' workplace culture 

She poured more than a decade of her life into studying medicine and surgery, but quickly fled the profession after experiencing the ‘toxic’ workplace culture 

She would just sleep in the ‘recovery’ room, where the clattering of the overnight staff made for a restless sleep.

Talk of her issues made its way through the halls until her head of department called her.

”We need to look after you. You’re damn good, you’re damn good,’ said the voice on the other line with so much conviction that I believed it. ‘I don’t want you to burnout’ … but I already was.’

She resigned on June 1 last year, her 24th consecutive work day.

With her resignation, she knew she would be blacklisted from ever getting another job in a Sydney plastic surgery, but enough was enough.

‘I was physically alive, but spiritually broken,’ she wrote.

When word of her resignation got back to her head of department, he asked if she couldn’t just ‘hold on’ for another couple of months.

When she told him she couldn’t, he replied: ‘It’s a shame. You have good hands. You’re good at what you do… but if you can’t handle the hours, maybe this isn’t for you.’ 

She would just sleep in the 'recovery' room, where the clattering of the overnight staff made for a restless sleep 

She would just sleep in the ‘recovery’ room, where the clattering of the overnight staff made for a restless sleep 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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