Who are you, and what do you do?
I am Yuben Moodley, a Respiratory Physician at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, Western Australia, and Associate Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Western Australia.
My duties include in- and outpatient Respiratory care, running a basic science research laboratory, and teaching students. I teach and mentor medical students as well as undergraduate and postgraduate science students.
I am also a member of the Center for Research Excellence for Lung Fibrosis, Deputy Director of the Institute of Respiratory Health, and Senior Editor of the journal Respirology.
What has been one insight or lesson that has been most helpful in your career?
Be passionate about what you do. This will give you resilience in difficult times and provide you with so much enthusiasm and energy for the work you do.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress.
I made so many mistakes that make this a tough question. I chose the wrong mentor previously, which allowed me to identify characteristics I did not admire and develop attitudes and behaviors that allowed me to grow as a person.
Project forward ten years. How will your industry or field be fundamentally different then? What opportunities do you see?
Healthcare will be more personalized. Big data will change the scientific endeavor. A set of tests looking at genetics and proteins will refine a patient’s diagnosis and provide the best treatment based on their individual cellular and molecular characteristics. This targeted approach will improve outcomes and reduce side-effects and costs of patient care.
We are working towards establishing this personalized care model by looking for biomarkers in lung fibrosis to guide treatment. This is an opportunity for global funding and scientific interaction.
What are some bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
“Follow the crowd without questions.”
Never take anything at face value. Always question the data, the evidence, and come to your own conclusions.
In the last two years, what have you become better at saying no to?
Students taking the easy way out. I am getting better at requesting that students strive to the highest academic aspiration standards and respect their colleagues and teachers.
What is the one book you recommend most often and why?
“Lord of the Flies.” It questions the destructive characteristics of human nature and allows us to make adjustments to promote the intellectual and compassionate aspects of our beings.
What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?
Find the aspect you are most passionate about, choose the best mentor, and work as hard as you can. Be passionate about what you do or do something else.
Ignore anyone who stands in the way of your passion.
What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?
“Who dares wins.” It’s a military quote that can be applied directly to life. Overcome your fears.