Nikki Heginbotham attempted her medical entry exam four times before finally being accepted. Today, Nikki is a GP working at a family practice in Balgowlah and is living proof that perseverance and hard work can make the world of difference.
Nikki graduated from Kincumber High School in 1999 with the support of encouraging teachers and a group of friends she still adores 18 years after graduating. Her advice to those going through high school now is, “Enjoy the years at school, but know that each year you advance you will enjoy it more as you get to focus in on the things you love. Use the experience to learn what you like, what you’re good at and what doesn’t suit you. Don’t stress too much about getting things perfect the first time around. There’s always an alternative way to get to where you want if you want it badly enough.”
"If we are happy in what we are succeeding at I think that is really what makes a person successful.”
Nikki began a degree in medical radiation science. She spent three years at the University of Newcastle before deferring a Bachelor of medicine to complete an internship as a Radiation Therapist and travel Europe with friends. Nikki officially began her degree in medicine in 2004, spending five years at the University of Newcastle and working as a Radiation Therapist between semesters. After graduating in 2009 and working as an intern at Gosford and Wyong Hospital for two years, Nikki spent a year as a senior resident at Manly Hospital practicing obstetrics and gynaecology. Nikki says, “I often feel that I may not have been able to successfully complete my medical studies if I had have gone in straight from school. University life can be very distracting and there is just too much fun to be had. The experience of getting to the end of my studies taught me resilience and the importance of doing things my own way. I’ve learned that there are always more paths than the most direct route.”
From a young age, Nikki aspired to be a doctor, always looking up to her family GP, but she has found room in her life for other fulfilled aspirations. Nikki says, “I also wanted a loving family like my parents, and I wanted to travel like my sisters.” Now a GP herself, Nikki has two young boys and spent time in Vietnam during university, and one month in the Kimberly working with aboriginal communities. Nikki says that a successful person sets their sights on a goal and works towards it, while keeping a good work/ life balance. “A successful person has achieved what they set out to attain and is happy with the destination.”