Doctorpreneurs: Katie Tran of "Katie Kodes"

This week's Doctorpreneur of Doctology is Katie Tran aka "Katie Kodes".

Katie is a pre-med/medical scientist turned Web Developer on a mission to empower career changers and women in STEM. She helps individuals along their journey of a career change, providing career mentoring, and empowering women to be brave and own it in technology.

She is passionate about the intersection between healthcare and technology, using technology to drive change in healthcare, providing seamless experiences for patients.

What organisation / startup did you found?

In the early stages of my career I worked for a few startups ranging from skincare (Gensen Japan) to healthtech (HealthEngine). After working at startups I gained a solid understanding of the entrepreneurial world and how any success can be birthed with an idea.

I began to understand that as long as you’re a self-starter you can achieve anything. Adopting that mindset I created the brand "Katie Kodes".

What is its noble purpose? Katie Kodes aims to empower females in STEM, with a focus on technology for career changers alike.

The Koded community focuses on all things technology, career mentoring, self-development, and empowering females to own it in the field of technology & in life.

Tell me about the first 10 years of your life?

I was born and raised in Sydney with one older brother. Because I was very close to my brother, we would play a lot of sports together like soccer, riding a bike at an early age, and rollerskating.

As the children of hardworking, humble, and determined parents, I was instilled with a strong work ethic and ambition at an early age. I learned to appreciate the value of adversity, responsibility, and perseverance in chasing goals and building the life we want.

Growing up, I was exposed to reading a lot of books and appreciating the art of words. Hence why I love writing so much and my favourite subject was English in school.

My family spent a lot of time at beaches and doing road trips along the Coast, so I naturally adored the ocean and seashells. I also remember growing up with various pets in the house. We had rabbits, various breeds of dogs, pigeons, my own aquarium and guinea pigs.

I remember traveling quite often to Vietnam to visit our family and my grandparents. My grandmother, also my hero sparked my altruistic characteristics. She was a villager, who lived on the farmlands and had a way of life like no other. She demonstrated the value of helping others and how empathy, care, and devotion can make a positive impact in one’s life.

What age were you when you had your first paying job? What was it? I was around 17 years old when I had my first paying job as a pharmacy assistant. It was my first exposure to the healthcare industry and the most challenging one at such a young age.

I was learning the intricacies of accommodating health care, tending to patient care, and was pushed out of my comfort zone to provide sound advice for common medications. Though it was challenging, I am extremely grateful for first-hand exposure in the health world.

What made you want to be a Doctor and what specialty did you choose? Why? I initially pursued medicine, particularly with an interest in dermatological medicine. I loved studying chemistry during high school and university years. I loved the process of combining a set of substances together to create a solution that can treat or heal human skin disease or a wound.

I loved the art of creating chemical substances that can heal, that I even did a research project on unique peptides that target & reverse the genetic pathways leading to the inflammation of atopic dermatitis (AD) or eczema. Based on my interests and the path I was following, to me, it was a logical and straightforward decision to pursue that medical specialty.

What made you want to be an Entrepreneur or follow an alternative route? When exactly did you decide?

While pursuing my interests in medicine, I was drawn to the world of technology and seamless software via my passions in writing and building my own websites. Pursuing medicine was the logical path akin to my interests in chemistry and making a positive difference in people’s lives.

However, I was highly drawn to the aspect of problem-solving & providing solutions using technical skills coupled with a strong sense of creativity. Technology and the art of programming provided that avenue for me. My passions now lie in health-tech and to be a part of the intersection between health and technology, using technology to drive the digital transformation of the healthcare space in Australia.

Taking a step in pivoting careers is one of the toughest and challenging journeys I have walked on. Yet the most rewarding. Why do you think traditionally many Doctors struggle with entrepreneurship? Or at least they are perceived to? I believe that medicine is traditionally perceived as quite a straightforward career path, with a strong inclination to a particular way of life. Most careers in healthcare are very structural and don’t really foster the creativity to step out. It is perceived as risky and unknown. This can come down to the exposure to entrepreneurship, motivation, mentoring, and the encouragement of entrepreneurship overall.

Despite calculating the risks, pros and cons of a career in healthcare or not, I believe in choosing a career that most exemplifies what we believe in, aligns with our values, and places a positive contribution to society.

What is your favourite quote?

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever".

Mahatma Gandhi

What would you do in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse?

Like most things in life, it’s all about being prepared but also the ability to bend like water. Be like water. Things change, but you have to adapt to it.

For me, I will quickly gear up, making my way to the closest resource and food centre to stock up for food, medicine, water, favourite snacks etc. But also knowing survival tactics for e.g first aid, foraging for food, gather a team of various skills and choosing a good hideout.

You can find out more about Katie Kodes at

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