From Biomedical Science to a Career in Anaesthesia, a Journey Across Borders

Graduating from school marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey for Isobella Henzell (2004). She shares with us her academic and personal odyssey from studying anatomy in Australia to specialising in anaesthesia in New Zealand.

Academic Adventures

Isobella’s post-school journey began at the University of Queensland, where she embarked on a quest for knowledge, completing a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with a major in anatomy. However, her thirst for exploration led her to a different path. She decided to explore the world and contribute to a greater cause by volunteering in Costa Rica for three months. This enriching experience influenced her decision to pursue a career in Medicine, and she was accepted into the prestigious University of Wollongong.

During her medical studies, Isobella discovered her passion for rural healthcare. She spent her first three years as a doctor at Lismore Hospital in northern NSW, an experience she describes as fantastic. But her journey was far from over.

A few years later, Isobella ventured across the Tasman Sea to Auckland, New Zealand, with the goal of pursuing orthopaedic surgery training. However, the winds of destiny blew her in a different direction, and she made the decision to start specialist training in Anaesthesia in 2021. She’s been enjoying the journey and looks forward to completing her training in 2026.

Isobella’s dedication to medicine extends beyond her clinical practice. She has made significant contributions to the field by publishing research in two international medical journals. Her commitment to advancing healthcare is evident in both her work and her academic endeavours.

Running the World

Outside of her medical pursuits, Isobella has maintained her love for running. Her passion has taken her around the globe, from the USA and Kenya to Switzerland, Chile, Brazil, and the Philippines, where she’s competed in marathons and ultramarathons. Running not only keeps her physically fit but also provides a sense of adventure and a break from the demanding world of medicine.

Present and Future

Currently, Isobella is working full-time as an anaesthetic registrar in Christchurch, New Zealand, with plans to rotate to Dunedin for her final two years of training. She dedicates 20-30 hours a week to study for her specialist exams while balancing her family life. Isobella is married to a supportive husband who manages his own business and takes care of their adorable two-year-old daughter, allowing her to focus on her career.

Looking ahead, Isobella and her family aspire to return to Australia for a fellowship year or two, and she has a keen interest in contributing her skills to the Pacific Islands once she’s fully qualified.

Pride in Achievements

Isobella’s accomplishments in medicine and her dedication to her work are a source of pride. She’s achieved a goal she set as a Year Twelve student and has maintained proficiency in both Italian and Bahasa Indonesia languages.

Inspiration from Family

Her journey has been guided by mentors in the field of medicine, but she holds her nana and mother in high regard as her earliest inspirations. They were the first women to inspire her to achieve great things, setting her on the path to success.

Fond Memories of School

Isobella fondly remembers her time at Grammar, particularly her involvement in cross country and athletics seasons. She treasures the camaraderie built during training and the friendships formed. One of her favourite school memories involves getting lost during Year 11 school camp in the Noosa National Park, a testament to the adventures and challenges that shape a person.

Family Moments

Isobella graciously shared photos from her life’s journey, including her wedding with her husband in Dunedin and a heart-warming snapshot of their daughter in Wanaka at around six months old. These photos capture the milestones, love, and joy that have filled her life.

Isobella Henzell’s story is a testament to the pursuit of passion and the resilience required to navigate life’s twists and turns. Her dedication to medicine, love of running, and family life are all part of a fulfilling journey that continues to inspire those around her.