Benjamin Meadley

Benjamin Meadley
PhD Candidate
Department of Community Emergency Health & Paramedics, Monash Primary & Allied Health Care

Dr Kelly-Ann Bowles (Main)
Professor Karen Smith
Associate Professor Maxine Bonham 
Dr Joanne Caldwell Odgers
Dr Luke Perraton

The physiological and cardiometabolic health of Australian Paramedics

“Paramedics can suffer serious health consequences as a result of a life lived serving others. I don’t feel that the profession should just accept that, and we need to find out what we can do to change it.”

"I chose Monash University for my PhD for a number of reasons. I attained most of my graduate specialist paramedicine qualifications at Monash, and have been on staff as a teaching associate for more than 15 years. I feel like I’m part of the Monash University family, and when I see the high-quality research and teaching, I want to be a part of that.

The opposite ends of the paramedicine career spectrum

My research has two areas of focus, looking at the opposite ends of the paramedicine career spectrum. Firstly, how soon do signs of poor health show? We are looking at blood markers, body changes, nutrition and physical activity in first-year graduate paramedics. Secondly, what kind of physical traits do senior specialist helicopter rescue paramedics possess to enable them to complete physically demanding work, and how does their health compare to the new graduate paramedics?

“I am well supported by a great team of multi-disciplinary supervisors.”

Having access to a wide range of expertise and the academic and technical support to complete my research makes the whole process less onerous. Monash University has been flexible, supportive, collaborative and innovative in the ways they have supported my projects.

The Monash Doctoral Program has given me an insight to research that I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve acquired skills in biochemistry, applied physiology, epidemiology, statistics, logistics and finance to name a few. The PhD program has expanded my horizons enormously, and hopefully this will lead to improved health for paramedics, and other emergency services workers.

“I have had the chance to travel around Australia to present as an invited speaker and delegate at a number of conferences and symposia. In the second half of my project, I am travelling to three international conferences in Europe and North America to present.”

I still love working clinically in paramedicine in my role as an intensive care flight paramedic. However, when my PhD is completed, I am hoping to split my time between an academic role at Monash and a clinical role at Ambulance Victoria."