Year of the Health and Care Worker: Meet Sam

04 June 2021

After completing orthopaedic training in his home country Ireland, in August 2019, Dr Sam Lynch relocated to Australia with his young family to undertake specialist paediatric and adult spinal training.

His first stop was to The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, where he spent almost 18 months before starting at The Wesley in January 2021. Sam also undertakes some cases at Queensland Children’s Hospital and provides surgical treatment for trauma cases at Princess Alexandra Hospital.

“After gaining paediatric experience in Melbourne, I’m looking forward to expanding my adult knowledge here at The Wesley, especially to develop my surgical skill set, strategies and decision making for adult spinal surgery, which is completely different from paediatric care,” Sam said.

Dr Sam Lynch

“At The Wesley, I’ll be assisting the spinal surgeons at QCOS Spine and will gain further knowledge and training from their expertise.

“While it’s important to gain adult training, I love paediatric surgery. It’s often a team approach involving many different specialties, nursing and allied health teams who come together to care for each individual child. Paediatrics is particularly challenging given you also have the emotional concerns of the child to consider.”

Settling into life in Australia hasn’t been without its challenges for Sam, his wife and four young children who also navigated the intense and prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne during their first year.

“The lockdowns were very challenging, especially in a new country, but we were also very grateful to be in Australia during the pandemic and not in Europe,” Sam said.

“We left Melbourne in a hurry and drove to Brisbane without stopping to avoid being caught up in any COVID-19 outbreaks. It’s great to be here now and we’re all settling into life in Brisbane!”

Fast Five with Dr Sam Lynch

1. How would you describe your role and what’s the best part?

My role at The Wesley is orthopaedic spinal fellow. I also operate at the Princess Alexandra Hospital on patients who’ve been involved in a trauma incident, such as a motor vehicle accident, and undertake some paediatric cases at Queensland Children’s Hospital.

The best part of my role is the variety. I’m exposed to many different cases and enjoy both operating independently at PA Hospital and QCH, and assisting spinal surgeons at The Wesley.

2. What does a typical day at The Wesley look like for you?

A normal day at The Wesley starts at around 7.30am. We see our patients in pre-op and then sit down together as a team to go through the plan for surgery.

The Wesley is a well-oiled machine. It’s a wonderfully controlled environment where nothing is left to chance. We have the opportunity to predict if a surgical case will be complex ahead of time and to plan for those complexities.

3. What’s one thing about your role that surprises people?

Particularly in paediatrics, people are often surprised by the length of the surgeries. Cases are often six or seven hours. Trauma is another area that I’m involved in which people often find fascinating. The variety of my work can also be confusing!

4. What did the year 2020 teach you?

Living and working in Melbourne during 2020 was hard. As a family, we lived in a small space, and so we had to learn how to give everyone the space they needed. From time-to-time it was stressful and we had to revisit how we communicated with each other. We learnt to take a step back and to be much more tolerant of noise!

5. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

My wife and I both went to the Olympics for rowing, so that’s something we really enjoy doing outside of work. As a family, we enjoy doing anything active and which gets the kids moving.

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