Getting to know State and Territory Chairs

14 April 2020

Karen Mizia


With a knack for creative work, Karen initially enrolled into architecture but soon found that it was not the career for her. Adopting the ‘Just Do It’ mentality, she applied and was successful for entrance into medicine. Fast-forward a few years and Karen is now a COGU sub-specialist based in NSW and chair of the State committee. On the day-to-day she prioritises coffee runs with her staff, enjoys unwinding with a good book and the company of her children.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I am a NSW based ultrasound subspecialist or COGU. I have appointments in both the public and private sector.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The interaction. I love the variation in medicine, the interaction with patients as well as the clinical aspects. When I find fetal anomalies and offer options and choices, that’s an interaction. Taking the journey with women to find healthcare solutions that are best for them, that’s an interaction. Putting together a management plan, that’s an interaction. Working with students who start with limited knowledge and later seeing them grow and fly, that’s another rewarding interaction.
You are currently Chair of the NSW State committee, how did you get there and why do you do it?
I essentially applied for the casual vacancy. I have so much to do with trainees that I wanted to understand their experiences from a College perspective and not just the coal face. In terms of a committee that functions well, I think being involved in College activities and having that understanding is an important part of leadership. In our state, there weren’t many others who had been around on the committee all that long, that’s one of the reasons why it landed with me. 
If members wanted to get more involved in their state, what advice would you give?
Throughout anything I’ve done I’ve always said you can’t rely on someone else to deliver the change you want to see. You have to put your hand up to be involved in that process. Or don’t complain. That’s why I applied. My advice would be, if you want to get involved, put your hand up. Involved doesn’t equate to sitting on a committee either. You don’t have to be part of a committee to be involved in solutions. Being on a committee is also not as burdensome as some people think. We have teleconferencing and other tools that make being involved more accessible and easier to build around your life.

Fast Five

Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What did you want to be and why?
I wanted to be an architect. I loved drawing. I applied for an architecture course and got in which ironically thwarted my love of drawing. Our first project was drawing trees. I was out of there within a week.

If you could be anywhere other than where you are, right this minute, where would you be?
At home, preferably with some wine. You spend so much time at work that I really enjoy being at home and being around my kids.

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?
Pottering around at home, I like that time to myself. I give much of my time to patients, helping them make difficult decisions and everything that comes with being a doctor. We all need balance. I enjoy the quiet times alone or with the people I feel most comfortable with where I don’t need to be on, or worried about what I say.

What is one thing you do everyday?
It’s cheesy but I make sure that all my staff have a morning coffee. It only takes a few minutes once you’ve run the order through the app. It means I get some conversation time and a walk outside with the team regardless of what is on for the day.

If you have/had a motto, what would it be?
You never want to look back in regret. Just try it.




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