Meet our Alumni

Ala’a Oteir

ashleyPhDMed (Paramedical Studies)

“I am proud and privileged to be the very first paramedic with a PhD and a Monash Alumnus” says Dr Ala’a Oteir, who was notably the very first paramedic in Jordan to obtain a PhD.

Ala’a went to Monash on a scholarship from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) and returned to JUST after completing his PhD.

He reflects that studying at Monash/Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedics Practice (DCEHPP) had a huge impact on his development and future career. “During my time at Monash I learned so many personal and professional skills that helped me progress so quickly. For example, I was appointed as an Assistant Dean at the Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences in 2017, within my first year at JUST.”

He chose Monash because of its reputation and high ranking among international universities. According to Ala’a, only a few universities in the world have higher degrees in paramedicine and Monash was the only university to have a PhD degree in this field at the time.

His advice to others is to “be sure that you choose the best destination for your degree. Monash provides an opportunity for a life-changing experience. Love what you do and always seek the best.”

As it turned out, Ala’a’s completion of his PhD at Monash was just the start of a very successful long-term relationship with the university, both for him personally and for JUST.

While Ala’a was undertaking his PhD, Monash and JUST signed an MoU and jointly organised the very first paramedics program in Jordan and the Middle East. In November 2018, in partnership with Monash University, the 4th JUST Paramedic International Conference was held in Jordan.

Three Jordanians from JUST are currently completing their PhDs at Monash/DCEHPP which is another really positive outcome of the Monash-JUST relationship.

“Based on the experience I gained, I've helped the quality of teaching and training in the paramedics program at JUST. In addition, with the help of DCEHPP, we established a research agenda, as research in paramedicine is very scarce in Jordan, but things are improving and changes are happening.”

Ala’a’s relationship with Monash is continuing to strengthen and deepen. He is an Adjunct Lecturer with DCEHPP and he values his ongoing relationships with colleagues and supervisors who continue to provide support and assistance when needed. “Monash will not only help you grow during your studies, but also will continue to do so after graduation,” he says.

Yu Tung Chang

caitlinBachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedics) (Honours)

When Mr Yu Tung Chang commenced in his role as an Emergency Manager at the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in 2015, he was the first and only paramedic to be employed in such a role in a hospital in Taiwan.

An Emergency Manager in hospital is responsible for developing emergency response plans and coordinating different phases of mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery practice and education.

Since taking on this role, Yu Tung has rebuilt and modified the Disaster Medical Assistant Team (DMAT) of Far Eastern Memorial Hospital to prepare for mass gathering incidents and other disasters in the region.

In an effort to better combine and coordinate the various emergency health responses in Taiwan, including fire, ambulance, healthcare facilities, and community response, Yu Tung and his supervisor have also commenced the first hospital based and public Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Paramedic Training course. This course is designed to educate the highest level EMTs in the region to enhance the capacity of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to comprehensively cover and coordinate all emergency responses into one system.

Yu Tung says, “I appreciate that my knowledge and experience from studying at Monash University and my supervisor at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital have supported me to develop and expand the role of Emergency Manager in hospital. I adopted a scientific approach to establish EMS education standard content and coordinate the training and simulation session.”

He reflects that his Paramedicine degree at Monash provided not only a comprehensive understanding of paramedicine but also provided him with an understanding of basic health knowledge, the operation of the healthcare system, and research in this field. “This course can turn a layperson into a professional clinician in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Without these experiences at Monash, I would not have such a deep understanding and knowledge in this field and would not have developed a comprehensive view of the emergency system and paramedic education.”

Paramedic education and research have been Yu Tung’s focus since graduating from Monash. He has published two peer-reviewed articles in international medical education journals and has also presented at an Asian Association of Emergency Management System conference in 2018.

“Most importantly, we established the Taiwan Society of Paramedicine in 2018 to encourage more paramedics in Taiwan to commence paramedic education and research and to help paramedicine to become a recognized healthcare profession in the health system in Taiwan,” says Yu Tung. This Society is the first society in Taiwan operated by paramedics with a professional development focus and is supported by Monash University.

Yu Tung has been deeply influenced by the passion and positive attitude to education, academia and life exhibited by his teachers at Monash and says, “I will commit myself to adopt this attitude to encourage more paramedics in Taiwan to establish a better system for our people and for our country.”