Jonathan Foo

Jonathan Foo
PhD Candidate
RTP & Postgraduate Excellence Scholarship Awardee
Department of Physiotherapy, Monash Primary & Allied Health Care

Associate Professor Stephen Maloney (Main)
Associate Professor Prue Morgan
Dr George Rivers
Dr Kieran Walsh

Economic Evaluations in Health Professions Education Research

"I chose to start a PhD as I enjoyed the research projects I did in my undergraduate physiotherapy degree. Research forces me to be creative and think critically, and I believe that doing a PhD will provide me with new opportunities and a wider range of future career options. A PhD from Monash also seems to be a family tradition, as both my father and older brother have PhDs from Monash.

How much does it cost to train a doctor?

My research is focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of how we educate our health professionals. I adapt techniques from economics to be used by education researchers, enabling questions such as “how much does it cost to train a doctor”, and “what is the most cost-effective way to teach this particular medical skill” to be answered. Being more efficient with how we use our limited resources means that we can produce a larger number of higher quality health professionals.

The most rewarding aspect of my PhD is being able to share what I know with other people, and to see them become excited about how they could use it to improve the education of health professionals. It makes me feel like what I am doing is meaningful and has wider impact.

I have four supervisors across the Department of Physiotherapy, Monash Business School and the BMJ. My supervisors are all incredibly supportive and I constantly benefit from their individual perspectives, experiences and expertise.

“My supervisors care about me as a person, not as a research student, and make every effort to set me up for my career after graduation.”

They make use of their own personal networks, to connect me with relevant people, and advocate for me to be involved in opportunities.

“I’ve had the opportunity to travel to and present at several national and international conferences in Geneva, London, Basel, Beijing and Vienna.”

This was a fantastic opportunity to learn about emerging concepts, discuss ideas and expand the reach of what we do at Monash.

My career goal is to influence the health of populations at a system level, through contributing to how we think about health and education. I see myself having a portfolio career, where I’m involved in clinical work as a physiotherapist, engaged in the forefront of knowledge through research, and facilitating the implementation of evidence through consulting work with policy makers and other decision-makers."