Radiology Tasmania welcomes radiologist Dr Julia Williams to Launceston
We’re excited to introduce Dr Julia Williams, our highly skilled and compassionate new radiologist. Julia brings impeccable credentials and dedication to the organisation.
“We’re a very friendly and patient-centric team here,” she says. “We want our patients to feel like they’ve been well looked after and that they’re happy with any procedures we do. We're gentle and answer all of their questions. Ultimately, we treat people like they’re friends or family.”
In this Q&A, Julia shares a little more bit about herself and her experience.
Tell us a little bit about you.
I went into medicine as a second career; I was in information technology (IT) before that. Then I had a bit of a lifestyle and career change after IT. We’d lived in Italy for five years, and I decided I needed to do something a little more constructive with my life. So I went back to uni and did medicine. And I’ve really enjoyed the challenges of medicine from an academic and personal growth point of view; it’s been great.
I was doing my fellowship training and working in private radiology last year in Melbourne, when this opportunity came up.
I love that every day is different in radiology. I deal with all the body systems, so I’m not just looking at someone’s knees all day or heart all day; every day, I’m looking at different body parts. There’s so much pathology to be aware of and be across. That side of things – and the ability to help people – is quite satisfying.
What made you choose radiology as a specialty?
If you like puzzles, radiology as a specialty is fantastic for problem-solving. You’re given a set of images, and you’re trying to figure out how that fits with what your patient’s presented with. You’re trying to work out whether there’s a problem or if you can find the cause of their pain. And sometimes you find things they didn’t know about or they hadn’t presented with, so that can be quite interesting.
I was originally tossing up between radiology and emergency training; they’re similar as far as a patient comes in, and you’re helping them by figuring out what’s wrong and what’s causing their symptoms. And you’re aiming to give them a diagnosis. And patients are amazing! It’s not necessarily that they expect you to fix everything; they sometimes just want an answer. That’s certainly fair enough.
What are your areas of interest and expertise?
It was quite hard to pick fellowship training when I finished my basic training because I enjoyed all of it. I'm really keen to keep hold of as much of my training and skills as possible, because it's very easy to deskill when you go down the path of a specialty too far. But I have a lot of obstetric, gynaecology and breast interest. With women’s health, I did my fellowship training at Mercy Hospital for Women in Melbourne under some fantastic mentors who are really passionate about making sure the image quality and diagnostic work for pregnant women and women with gynaecological cancers are the best that they can possibly be. So that’s been a great base for me to spring off.
I also have a lot of musculoskeletal expertise, a lot of which has been acquired on the job.
There's a lot of support with Radiology Tasmania. Even though I'm the only radiologist in Launceston, the organisation has many radiologists I can tap into for assistance or a second opinion.
How do you like working with doctor-referrers?
They’re great. It’s great when they call and I’m able to help point them in the right direction as far as the imaging they should or could get for their patient.
Also, it’s nice to get feedback afterwards – whether it’s good or bad – to understand their needs. I find it really useful when they call up and say, “It would be helpful if the report said this,” or ask, “What does this part of the report mean?” That sort of feedback can improve not only our relationships, but also the quality and usefulness of our reports.
With patients, what do you see most often?
I see a lot of back pain, a lot of knees, a lot of obstetric care – women trying to confirm that they’re pregnant or to see how far along they are and then do their usual scans. There’s a lot of what I guess you’d call “bread-and-butter” work. We also do a lot of MRI prostate here, looking at male prostate cancer, and have gotten very good at that.
The age range we see is quite varied, with people trying to get their knee, foot, or shoulder MRIed.
What are your interests outside of work? How do you relax and unwind?
Since COVID, I’ve rediscovered that I like cooking. And certainly, like a lot of people in Melbourne during lockdown, we watched a lot of Netflix and probably drank a bit too much wine. I also took up knitting and puzzles for a while. But what I’m looking forward to, now that we’re in Tasmania and it’s a lot less restricted here, is exploring more of northwest Tasmania. We’ve taken a lot of daytrips to explore the river, the north coast, and all the little historic towns.
As my little one – I have a five-year-old – gets older, we can start taking longer, more challenging walks. But she’s done really well; we did a walk along the Cataract Gorge, and she pretty much led the way the whole way.