Well, after a whirlwind 2020 filled with some downtime, family time, travel, mountain biking adventures in Chile, and let’s not forget a pandemic; I’m kicking off 2021, a new year and a new decade, with a bang as I introduce you to my new venture… (drumroll please) – DukeMed.
So, what is DukeMed all about you may ask? To answer your question, DukeMed specialises in MedTech recruitment within the Orthopaedic and Ophthalmology industries, catering to both job seekers and recruiters, while focusing on providing a service that is as individual as you. In a sea of medical recruitment companies, DukeMed stands apart not only for our MedTech expertise but for our service values – focus, integrity, commitment, and a high touch personal service.
Go ahead and take a look for yourselves and find out what sets us apart.
How it all began
After over 17 years of working with recruitment industry leader Austcorp, in which I set up a medical device section and which first ignited a long-term ambition to start DukeMed, I took the plunge in January 2020 and decided to go solo.
New adventures and diving into the unknown bring with it a set of new challenges and obstacles. Much like those which I encountered during the Andes-Pacifico challenge in Chile, which we could say in some ways prepped me for the road ahead.
Andes-Pacifico was a multi-day mountain bike enduro challenge in which you are racing against professional riders or highly experienced local riders in big mountainous areas. Each day posed a new challenge such as living out of a small tent with limited supplies, trying to get yourself and your bike around the course in one piece to finish, and of course the unexpected curveball of the entire team getting gastro from lunch which diverted all focus. No matter the obstacles, all the pre-preparation and planning paid off considering I didn’t get altitude sickness!
You may be wondering how all this relates to DukeMed. I guess what I am trying to say is that while DukeMed may not be a physical challenge it is certainly a mental and to some extent an emotional, one. While mountain biking through the mountains of Chile and starting a business may appear to be two vastly different concepts, they both pose many parallels. For instance,
1. Pre-planning and preparation: before taking on the Andes-Pacifico challenge there was a lot of planning, some of which included physical altitude training. Likewise, with starting DukeMed there has been months of preplanning involved. From what the brand name will be to what I want it to look like and down to the final details of a business plan. No matter what the adventure, planning is essential, and we all do it. It's a must!
2. Commitment: having an idea or an ambition to pursue something is one thing but when you sign up to it suddenly it becomes real, and as we get deeper into the process and realise the challenges that lie ahead, we begin to question ourselves – what am I doing? Can I do this? At this point, many drop out as the doubts settle in. I too had a few questionable moments during altitude training and even after landing in Chile for the first time with no Spanish skills and unfamiliar "anti-grip" terrain to get to grips with in order to survive the race.
There’s no denying that I’ve had a few moments where I’ve wondered whether it would be easier to just head back into a job and just shelve the idea of DukeMed, especially with no income and a family to support, but let’s face it the fire in my belly has been bigger and stronger than my doubts and so here we are today!
3.The process: can be an extremely long-winded path that can test your patience and commitment to continue forward. There are many factors involved in pulling us forward in our journey, some easy and smooth sailing whilst others can be testing and frustrating.
Our trip in the Outback tested us as a family while spending a lot of time together in the same vehicle without a break and with diminishing sleep levels as the weather got hotter or colder. Our days involved planning a routine around the events of the day. Some days allowed to stay with our planned route, others required more flexibility to adapt to the changing environment. Essentially we planned heavily but also freestyled and went with the flow - the only way on a 16,000km trip over 70 nights.
Setting up DukeMed has posed similar challenges with some tasks and schedules running on time and as planned, while others requiring a complete change of direction. Nevertheless, each element in the process of making DukeMed a reality has been a learning curve, each providing an opportunity to celebrate the little achievements.
4.Dealing with the unexpected: A bike mechanical service issue in a foreign country is one thing and having COVID ‘pivot’ our plans to spend time with family in the UK to a camping trip to Darwin, the Gulf and back while not knowing if borders will be open is another. But the biggest curveball of all was a surprise pregnancy (yes, there can be surprisingly pleasant curveballs!) this not only once again changed our future plans but pushed back the plans for DukeMed.
5.Reaching milestones: We all love it when we reach that major milestone! I still remember the adrenaline rush of joy and achievement that passed through me when I completed the Andes-Pacifico challenge and that too finishing 11th out of 23 riders in Masters. I have felt the same rush at the launch of DukeMed, and I’m sure there will be plenty more moments like this in the future as I go on to manoeuvre through the curveballs and stride through the process kicking those goals to achieve more milestones!
The beginning of new adventures
With the vision and commitment to help candidates and businesses thrive, DukeMed offers positions in Sales, Marketing, Leadership and Clinical specialities. We look at the big picture, consider every detail, and find the perfect candidates for every client.
We’ll find out just what makes you tick. What’s under the bonnet that drives you forward.
So, if you’re looking to hire MedTech talent, or searching for your perfect role, get in touch.
DukeMed. Together we make it happen.