This week's Doctorpreneur of Doctology is Dr Kelly Teagle.
Kelly started out as Doctor in the Royal Australian Air Force but is now the Founder of WellFemme as well as working as a GP in Canberra.
She writes blog articles, speak sat Women’s Health events and is a mother to two. She is driven daily knowing 385,000 Australian women are suffering with untreated debilitating hot flushes and night sweats. A huge number could be treated easily and safely, but misinformation and a lack of access is getting in the way; Kelly hopes to improve both.
Her goal for WellFemme is to make sure that every Australian woman has access to quality peri-menopausal care by 2025 (by telehealth!).
What organisation / startup did you found?
What is its noble purpose? Telehealth Menopause Clinic.
Tell me about the first 10 years of your life?
I grew up in a small town in Gippsland called Yarram. My dad was the "son" in a father/son pharmacy business and we lived in the residence behind the shop. We used to get all sorts of visitors knocking on the door at night...there weren't any condom vending machines back then.
I have a younger brother and sister, and during my first ten years I remember rambling around town a lot with friends, climbing trees, swimming at the local pool, riding my bike and buying massive bags of lollies for 20 cents.
What age were you when you had your first paying job? What was it? Working in my dad's chemist shop on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings from about age 14.
What made you want to be a Doctor and what specialty did you choose? Why? Actually I initially wanted to be on Occupational Therapist, but my university entry score was not high enough (long story). I felt drawn to "the caring professions" but could not gain entry to several of the allied health courses I tried.
I was in the Air Force at the time. I never imagined I would be able to get into medicine under those circumstances, but a personnel manager suggested I apply for Graduate entry; with an interview and GAMSAT I was able to qualify for the Graduate medical course at UQ (University Queensland).
I went into General Practice because I was an older student and wanted to start a family. It was also one of the specialities that was easiest to study part-time whilst I was in the RAAF.
What made you want to be an Entrepreneur or follow an alternative route? When exactly did you decide?
I never decided to be an entrepreneur, I just decided to start offering menopause consultations by telehealth.
When I was 42 I experienced an early menopause with all the dreadful symptoms. This prompted me to learn all I could about the treatments, and to start treating other women. Soon I realised that, for women who have their own regular GP, menopause consults rarely required me to examine the patient. It is all in the history. This makes it an ideal service to provide by Telehealth.
What I did not realise at that time what how disconnected the IT systems involved were. I have literally had to "cobble together" various systems to get the functionality I need. This was the entrepreneurial part; I found myself in the IT business!
Are you still practicing as a Doctor now? If yes, do you intend to stop if your organisation or project takes off?
Why do you think traditionally many Doctors struggle with entrepreneurship? Or at least they are perceived to? They are probably too busy trying to keep all their balls in the air (so to speak) to take time out and invent a juggling machine. Also, I think out profession is very risk-averse, by training if not by nature.
In fact, a legal benchmark for standards of care is to check whether your actions fall into line with the majority of your peers. To stand out as a doctor is to invite scrutiny, criticism and potentially even litigation.
What is your favourite quote?
"If not you, who? If not now, when?"
What would you do in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse?
Raid all the pharmacies to stock up on HRT!
You can find out more about WellFemme here:
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