Jackson Harrison

  1. Tell us more about yourself :) - what current stage of life you’re at, hobbies ect.

    • I am a junior doctor working in Sydney, Australia. I am currently studying a Master of Public Health part-time and hope to combine clinical work and research in my future career. Outside of work I enjoy running, swimming and most things outdoors. I love coffee (my aeropress is probably the most cost-effective purchase have ever made), and looking after my bonsai tree. I enjoy reading philosophy and getting into long winded debates with friends about almost any topic.

  2. How did you first find out about Effective Altruism? ⏲️

    • I came across the work of Peter Singer in an interview of his when listening to a podcast about utilitarian ethics. Everything he said seemed to resonate with me, and he mentioned effective altruism and the 80 000 hours website.

  3. Why did you decide to work in healthcare? 💊

    • In high school I was interested in most things science and maths. I also saw a lot of value in doing something that had an element of direct human connection, and the opportunity to 'impact' peoples lives (whatever that meant to me at the time). Medicine was the middle of the Venn diagram so I applied for medical school at the end of high school (medicine can be done as an undergraduate in Australia), and here I am.

  4. Any advice to others in a similar situation as yours, or people earlier in their career?

    • I think it is really important for everyone to give time to think about their values and motivations for the actions they take in day to day life, and the trajectory of their life as a whole. I believe that how we act and the impact it has on other people is one of the most important consideration in our choices about what we do in our lives. It is never too late or too early to think about these things, and we should be very willing to challenge the assumptions we have all formed throughout our lives. Medicine is a great career on a personal level for some individuals. However the hours can be long, the training pathway even longer, and it can leave limited time for pursuits outside of work (certainly not impossible by any means). I wouldn't change my decision if I had to do it over again.

  5. What do you think are some of the important considerations when trying to develop ones' career in an effective way?

    • In terms of career planning, I am still trying to figure this all out myself, there are a few things I've learnt along the way.

      1. Career is a large part of your life, you ought to put in a reasonable amount of time and effort into figuring out what you want to do, and the impacts you will have doing it

      2. It's okay to try something, not like it, and try something else. Of course there is value in experience in a specific area, but we should not persist with things simply because we have already sunk the cost of starting. This is especially relevant in early career

      3. Impact is just one of many considerations you need to make. Pushing yourself into a path that you may not be suited to simply because it is the more impactful option, will be fruitless if you become burnt out or uninspired by the work

      4. Think about alternate way one can have an impact. Being a doctor is often seen as an option that yields only a modest impact, however biomedical science or public health research can be very impactful, and is a well suited option for those working in healthcare

  6. Is there anything you hope to see in the EA-Med network? 👀

    • Would love to see more people getting involved and the space developing further. I think people in medicine are inherently good collaborators, relatively intelligent and industrious, and that a lot could be achieved from a shared vision and motivated community!