Graduating as a Doctor of Medicine from Bond University on the Gold Coast in 2017, Sydney-raised Dr Delo Subhaharan says his decision to stay on the Gold Coast to pursue his career was an easy one. The lifestyle he enjoyed during his uni years continues as a backdrop to his work as a medical registrar at Gold Coast University Hospital. Delo’s passion for research led to him winning the 2020 Best Young Investigator Award (Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Disease – America) and the 2021 Gastroenterology Society of Queensland (GESQ) Young Investigator Award for his clinical research into the treatment of ulcerative colitis. He also maintains a connection to the education sector as an Honorary Adjunct Teaching Fellow at Bond University, and as a lecturer at Griffith University.

Q. Can you tell us a little about where you are in your medical career?

This is my fourth year since my internship. At the moment I’m a medical registrar at Gold Coast University Hospital, rotating through different specialties, such as haematology and nephrology. I’m just about to finish that posting and move on to gastroenterology training from November.

Q. Did you always want to be a doctor?

I guess it’s a bit cliché, but yes! I’m now working to become a gastroenterology advanced trainee and that’s something I’ve wanted to do since medical school.

Q. What do you love about your job?

One of the things I do like is the fact I can interact with colleagues. When you work in a multidisciplinary team you’re able to learn skills from every single member of that team. Working together and achieving a common goal – patient satisfaction – is quite rewarding at the end of the day.

Q. You grew up in Sydney but studied at Bond University and took a placement on the Gold Coast. What drew you to the Gold Coast?

The competition to get into medicine in Sydney is pretty hard so I applied for Bond. It’s the same with specialising when you graduate, it’s very competitive. I did get offers to go back to Sydney but I decided to stay here. I was pretty independent at that stage and I love the Gold Coast lifestyle and weather. Obviously I knew the hospital and the departments pretty well from my uni courses, so I was well set up to stay on the Gold Coast.

Q. What were the best aspects of your uni years?

The Bond medical degree is very flexible. They call it self-directed learning. The lectures are in place and they have a timetable, but at the same time there’s lots of free time within that timetable, allowing you as a student to be flexible in what you do. Ideally you are meant to use that time for study, but if you just want some time to yourself, or to hang out with mates or go to the beach, you are more than welcome to do that. That’s what I love about the Bond degree, I didn’t really feel pressured, which is especially important when studying medicine. Essentially the whole grade at Bond was studying away from their home, many from interstate. A lot of us would just hang out late at night; go to the 24-hour library sometimes to study and to have a bit of banter.

Q. You made some good friends?

Yeah, my close mates from Bond are all still here, but sadly some did go home to their original state. I still regularly catch up with them, though. 

Q. Can you tell us about your role as an Honorary Adjunct Teaching Fellow at Bond University?

I’ve been teaching at Bond since early fourth year when we had a student tutors program. I have always liked teaching and worked at a tutoring company in Sydney after high school. During my internship I was approached by Bond University and asked to do some question writing for their exams, and then that proceeded to more formal teaching.

Q. What would you tell someone who is considering studying on the Gold Coast?

Well, there’s always the beach, and specifically with Bond University all the facilities there are great – the tennis courts, the new gym, heaps of extracurricular and social activities, which are all really fun. I really liked the Bond University lifestyle – the actual academic degree and the lifestyle that it involves. The curriculum is very good. You’ve got those two years of preclinical that sets you up for your foundations, and one of the unique things about Bond, compared to other unis, is that we had a third year, which is purely like an intermediate clinical year before you start fourth and fifth year, when you dive into hospital work. What my senior consultants notice – and me now that I am getting more senior – is that the juniors coming through from Bond are a lot more prepped and well-trained. There really is a difference.