Personal Development

The Traveling Photographer Doctor: Andrew Peacock

One prevailing issue that comes up, especially young doctors, is how to balance the demands of their profession with the rest of life. After spending more than 10 years in academia, there is a lot of pressure to dive right into a job. Many doctors at this stage in their career begin to feel doubts. Doubts that stem from thoughts of whether or not their particular profession has restricted them from doing anything else.

We’re certainly not suggesting that anyone should take their role as doctor less seriously – responsibility and hard work come with the territory. But that doesn’t preclude missing out on the rest of life. There are lots of ways to manage a career in the medical field and pursue other interests, and if travel is on your list than there’s no better example than Andrew Peacock.

The native Australian exemplifies what it means to be a true traveling doctor. As a professional photographer on top of his day job, he’s traveled all over the world and racked up an impressive array of photography awards. He was the winner of the 2008 ‘Call of the Wild’ Photography Competition, as well as the 2013 PDN Great Outdoors ‘Scenes of the Natural World’ Competition.

And a quick look at his website 1 reveals he is anything but amateur. He’s contributed to National Geographic competitions, reputable travel agencies and even Lonely Planet, and his portfolio runs the gamut of everything from broad natural vistas to atmospheric street photography.

So how does he manage to pursue his passions as both a doctor and a professional photographer travelling the world?

There is certainly a degree of sacrifice involved. In an interview from 2014, 2 he admitted that while he is committed to his surgical work, he has largely avoided the traditional medical career.

A huge part is finding niche opportunities, or doing double duty – whether it’s working as assistant filmmaker/photographer and on-site medical officer on documentary crews in Nepal or on Antarctic expeditions, or volunteering with organizations. But even though being a doctor pays the bills, it’s clear from the way he talks about it that it remains his focus.

And for others that want to follow in his footsteps?

Ultimately, it comes down to the individual, and the drive to always push oneself. Scaling the Grand Tetons or trekking through mountain ranges may be extreme examples, but Andrew demonstrates that being a doctor does not necessarily have to consume your whole life – or even be fulltime. More than that, it’s a good reminder that we don’t have to be restricted to following just one of our dreams.


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