Dr Ozge Guzelburc

Mildura Cardioloyg welcomes their newest member to the team -Dr Ozge Guzelburc Cardiologist.
Dr Guzelburc was born in Turkey and undertook medical training at the Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty at Istanbul University before completing her cardiology course at the Siyaniersek Hospital Tertiary Cardio-Vascular Centre in Istanbul.
“In Turkey Cardiology it is a five-and-a-half-year course and a separate discipline to internal medicine.
“I went directly into cardiology training, but it also included training in branches of general medicine.”
Following the completion of her training, Dr Guzelburc worked at the Siyaniersek Hospital as a cardiology consultant.
“I also had a short stint of work experience at the Koc University Hospital’s Cardiology Department in Istanbul.”
So, what brought Dr Guzelburc and her family to Australia, and more specifically Mildura?
“We had been considering a move for a long time. I was in contact with Mildura Cardiology as far back as 2017 to explore possible opportunities to work with them,” she recalls.“The plan was that I was going to come to Mildura in 2019 but, for a variety family reasons, and then the pandemic, the move to Australia was delayed.
“I think Mildura is a beautiful city. Coming from Istanbul, I have really fallen in love with the quiet here, the calmness and the clean air.
“I also like the nice weather and love the heat!
“It is a well-organised, beautiful city and a good place to raise a child.”
Dr Guzelburc’s husband is a urologist, and the couple have an 11-year-old son. They too are now living in Mildura.
Dr Guzelburc says she is enjoying being part of the team at Mildura Cardiology.
“It’s a busy practice, and the staff are very friendly and helpful.

Courtesy of MBPH 2024 Heartbeat Magazine Summer Edition

Dr Alan Soward OAM

ALAN Soward was standing beside his 95-year-old mother's bed in 2019, saying his final goodbyes, when his wife Bev asked for a moment alone with her.

When Dr Soward left the room, a smile spread across his mother's face as Bev told her that her son had been nominated for a Member of the Order of Australia award for his decades of work as a cardiologist.

She passed away a few weeks later. Now that process will finally come to fruition when Dr Soward receives the award in the 2024 Australia Day honours list.

Dr Soward graduated Monash University in 1976 the same year he was married going on to train at the Queen Victoria Medical Centre before moving to the Alfred Hospital for two years to complete his cardiology training.

He worked for several years in the Netherlands and after moving back to Australia, took up locum work in Mildura, enjoying it so much he never left.

"I worked here as a cardiologist and set up private practice next to the Mildura private hospital and the practice started off with myself as a doctor and Bev, as everything else," Dr Soward said.

"The result now is the Mildura Cardiology. They employ 20 people, have numerous doctors who come and go and have trained specialists."

"There have been some big changes over the years since it was just Bev and I."

Throughout his storied career, Dr Soward said he always found helping clients the most rewarding part of his day.

"I have loved helping people, it was such an honour to have people tell me about their problems so I could try and work out what was wrong and what could be done to help them," he said.

"That gave me a lot of satisfaction and I still like running into people I've cared for over the years at the supermarket or walking up Deakin Avenue, It's very nice.

"I also got great enjoyment from employing people, adding to their lives and giving them a job in a happy and fulfilling workplace."

Dr Soward also played a significant role in ensuring Mildura had access to life saving defibrillators.

"Some years ago, when automatic defibrillators were becoming widely known about, Mildura Cardiology donated defibrillators to sporting and social clubs," he said.

"All in all, we gave about 50 defibrillators.

"One of them was used soon after when a gentleman who was training at one of the ovals had a cardiac arrest and the trainer who was there went and got the defibrillator from the club rooms.

"He pulled a hamstring whilst running over to get it, but he brought the defibrillator back and it was used to save the fellow's life.

"He then had the underlying cardiac problem corrected and he's lived 20 years since in good health."

Dr Soward said he was proud to have been able to provide people with decades of care and honoured to receive an OAM.

"It makes it so much better for regional people to have access to services like cardiology which they would expect to have if they lived in a capital city," he said.

"To have it in a big regional centre like Mildura is very good for people.

"I'm sure it gives people a feeling of reassurance that if they do require treatment, they don’t have to go off to a strange city and are able to have it done locally.

"I felt very humbled when I found out about my nomination and I thought, I just did my job, but obviously others thought that there was some recognition due."

Courtesty of Sunraysia Daily Edition 25.1.24

Dr Amreeta Kaur

Amreeta completed her Bachelor of Biomedicine (Honours) and Doctor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne. She completed her Basic Physician Training at Peninsula Health and is currently in her first year of Advanced Training in General and Acute Medicine at Alfred Health. She is also completing a Masters of Public Health at the University of New South Wales, Sydney as she is passionate about advancing health equity through healthcare delivery.

Amreeta enjoys working in Mildura Cardiology as it provides a broad range of exposure to cardiology cases and she enjoys assisting in echocardiography. She has found it to be a rewarding experience working in Mildura and she hopes to incorporate rural health in her career in the future.

In her free time, Amreeta enjoys going for daily runs along the Murray and going to the gym. She has enjoyed the warm summer in Mildura.

Dr Nathan Wong

Our latest Alfred registrar on rotation from the Alfred Hospital is Dr. Nathan Wong. Nate completed his Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery at Monash University in 2018 and finished his physician training at the Alfred, during which he completed a Masters of Public Health through Newcastle University. He is currently an Advanced Trainee in General and Acute Care Medicine, and will undertake his first year of Cardiology Advanced Training in Geelong in 2024. Nate is interested in all aspects of cardiac care; from managing acutely ill inpatients to minimising cardiovascular risk within a clinic setting. He is particularly enjoying the hands-on experience of scanning with the echo techs and the pearls of wisdom provided by Dr Soward.

Having recently taken up bouldering in his free time, Nate's biggest disappointment on arriving in Mildura was its absence of rock-climbing gyms! Instead, he's spent most of his free time at Sip or Fossey's and makes sure to get down to the driving range on his afternoons off.

Dr Vijayatubini Vijayarajan

Vijaya completed her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Adelaide and is currently completing her final year of Master of Philosophy with University of Sydney. The title of her thesis is “ Demographics, Morbidity and Mortality Outcomes of Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices”. Her career began at the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network in South Australia and she underwent Basic Physician Training at Illawara Shoalhaven Local Health Network in New South Wales. She is currently a first year General Medicine Advanced Trainee with an interest in cardiology.

Vijaya enjoys all aspects of cardiology and ensures that her patients are managed in a holistic manner. She has special interest in ischaemic heart disease and believes in prevention and aggressive risk factor management is the cornerstone of the treatment of ischaemic heart disease. 

Outside of work, Vijaya enjoys exploring the towns and vineyards around Mildura. She loves the relaxed lifestyle and is greatly appreciative of the welcoming residents in Mildura who have made her feel at home.

Dr Nicky Evans

Nicky completed her Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash University then moved to Adelaide to complete her Doctor of Medicine at Flinders University.

She worked at Eastern Health for four years and is now in her first year of Advanced Training in General and Acute Care Medicine at Alfred Health.  

Nicky is enjoying managing patients with a variety of heart problems and improving her skills in echocardiography and ECGs. 

Her favourite thing to do in Mildura was running along the Murray, but now that the path has flooded she is sticking to the gym! She loves the relaxed lifestyle and friendly people here. 

Dr Ashlea Low

Our latest registrar on rotation from the Alfred is Ashlea Low.

Ashlea completed her Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne and MBBS at Deakin University.

She started her career as a junior doctor in Ballarat and Eastern Health and is currently a first year General Medicine Advanced Trainee.

She is enjoying all aspects of her work as a cardiology registrar especially echocardiography and is now undertaking a Graduate Diploma of Clinical Ultrasound.

Outside of work, Ashlea enjoys swimming and hiking and is looking forward to exploring the national parks around Mildura. 

New cardiologist puts his heart into his work

IT hasn't been an easy journey but Mildura's newest cardiologist has finally arrived.
Dr Sachin Sondhi arrived from India on December 8 bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm.

Mildura Cardiology was beyond happy to have Dr Sondhi arrive after struggling to "attract a full-time cardiologist who was prepared to move to Mildura and make it their home".

"The main reason I chose Mildura is because of the immediate need for a cardiologist," Dr Sondhi said.
"They had Melbourne cardiologists flying in and out of Mildura every fortnight and Mildura Cardiology had been searching for a full time cardiologist for the past two and a half years."

The search for a new full time cardiologist came after Dr Alan Soward retired at the end of 2020 after 32 years of serving the community.

As the new permanent cardiologist residing in Mildura, Dr Sondhi aims to provide continuity of care for the community and support for GPs and both hospitals.

It was during his training that the 33-year-old discovered his desire to become a cardiologist.
"During my internal medicine training I came across many cardiac patients and, as we all know, cardiac diseases are the most common cause of morbidity and mortality," he said.

"A lot of young people are suffering from cardiac diseases right now and I got a chance to see these patients and I got a chance to treat them, so that is the main reason."

While working as a cardiologist, Dr Sondhi has also been required to work with many COVID positive patients over the past two years.

"For every family in India, there is not a single family that there was no COVID," he said.

"Every single family would have had one member that has had COVID, for me, it was my wife who had COVID, she was working in the COVID ICU and got infected, but she is fully vaccinated so had just a mild fever."

The private hospital that Dr Sondhi worked at in India saw all staff assist with COVID patients.
"Everyone had to give duties in the COIVD ward, even specialist doctors, including myself," he said.

"It's a very bad situation there, I worked in a private hospital and in peak times all 100 beds of the hospital had COVID patients.
"I have seen many young patients, including three patients who had complications because of COVID; one had a heart attack, one patient has fluid around the heart and another has weakening of the heart muscles.

"COVID also affects your hearts, not just the lungs."

Dr Sondhi said the best defence against COVID was to be fully vaccinated.

"Those patients that I have seen that are infected and fully vaccinated had a mild disease but those who aren't vaccinated or who are old and are diabetic or on dialysis, the mortality is more in these patients," he said.

"In young patients who are fully vaccinated, you can catch the infection but it's very mild."

Next year is expected to be a very exciting year for the young doctor who will not only be settling into Mildura, but also welcoming his first child in February with his wife, who is expected to make Mildura her home once the baby arrives.

Dr Riley Batchelor

Riley is our current registrar on secondment from The Alfred Hospital. He completed his MBBS with honours at Monash University in 2016, went on to complete Basic Physician Training at Alfred Health. Riley’s interests include all aspects of General Cardiology, with interests that extend to Stroke Neurology. He has worked previously at Mildura Base Hospital as a medical registrar and is hoping to return to Mildura as a cardiologist on completion of his specialty training.

Riley is involved in clinical education and teaches medical students on a twice-weekly basis. Outside of work, he has been enjoying the fresh air here in Mildura and runs on along the Murray. Over the weekends he has been enjoying having a hit at the driving range and the local golf courses. He is a passionate Collingwood supporter, but has been a little disheartened by their performance this year!

Dr Sylvia Ye

Sylvia completed her undergraduate training in Biomedicine at The University of Melbourne before undertaking an MBBS at Deakin University.

After working a year in Shepparton, she completed her Basic Physician Training at Eastern Health. She is now an Advanced Trainee in General and Acute Care Medicine and is hoping to combine this in the future with Cardiology training to provide holistic cardiovascular care.

Outside of work, Sylvia enjoys reading, hiking and looking after her 30+ indoor plants. She is a miserable cook so is looking forward to sampling all of the restaurants she has been recommended in Mildura.