UQ Medical Dean Professor Stuart Carney believes he has the coolest job at the university. Every day he gets to act as what he calls a ‘critical enabler’ to allow staff and students to reach their potential.
“I work with and alongside some of the best educators and researchers on the planet, and we have an opportunity, working in partnership with our students, to form and transform the brightest minds here in Australia and the world,” he says.
“I can’t think of a better job.”
An unexpected path to medicine
Stuart’s commitment to serving others could have gone another way after obtaining his medical degree at the University of Edinburgh. As he walked the cobbled streets of the Scottish capital each day, his thoughts turned to becoming a priest, and after finishing his internship he joined the Jesuits, a Catholic religious order.
“It was a great experience; I’m glad I did it, but I’m glad I left,” he says.
“I think the same things that inspired me to test my vocation with the Jesuits are what keep me excited as a doctor – that is, a commitment to making a difference.”
Stuart went to Oxford to train and work as a psychiatrist, then moved to King’s College London to become Dean of Medical Education.
“What attracted me to psychiatry was the opportunity to work with people in our society who are often among the most disenfranchised, and to use my clinical and scientific training to push back the boundaries of how we can help improve outcomes for people with mental illness.”
A growing passion about taking care of mental and physical health equally led him to expanding his interest in public health more broadly.