Australian female heart surgeon takes to TV in new show

Dr Nikki Stamp is in an elite group of people.

She is one of only 11 female heart surgeons in Australia. But there's far more to Dr Stamp than that to make her stand out from the crowd.

Aside from her array of colourful surgical caps that she wears to brighten her patients' days, its her grit and determination that has defined her as a doctor.

'I like to see myself as a resilient person', Dr Stamp told Daily Mail Australia.

It's a trait well needed in her profession, with punishing days beginning at 7am and finishing anywhere between 10 and 18 hours later, with most of the time spent in the operating theatre.

Dr Nikki Stamp (pictured) is one of only 11 female heart surgeons in Australia but there's far more to her that makes her stand out from the crowd

Dr Nikki Stamp (pictured) is one of only 11 female heart surgeons in Australia but there's far more to her that makes her stand out from the crowd

The Perth-based doctor has now taken up an offer from ABC to film an episode of their long-running show Catalyst which will document the complex world of heart surgery

The Perth-based doctor has now taken up an offer from ABC to film an episode of their long-running show Catalyst which will document the complex world of heart surgery

'I wake up at 5am - its in my genes, then I have to check on all our patients and make sure they're fine before anything begins,'she said.

Her promise was evident early on when at the tender age of eight she was told she was reading anatomy books too advanced for her age.

'I saw Dr Victor Chang's work in a book and it caught my eye. I even wrote in my school diary that I wanted to be a heart surgeon', she laughed. 

But teachers told her as a girl she would never become a doctor, and she took it to heart, opting out of 'difficult' subjects such as the sciences and maths.

'I never thought I had the aptitude to pursue a career as a doctor, I had decided on something in music instead.' 

Two decades later, and after six gruelling years training to be a specialist after university, Dr Stamp is now one of Australia's leading cardiothoracic surgeons.

Despite being told by teachers at school she would never become a doctor, she is now celebrating twelve years as one, and has become one of the country's leading heart surgeons

Despite being told by teachers at school she would never become a doctor, she is now celebrating twelve years as one, and has become one of the country's leading heart surgeons

Her line of work requires a certain level of grit and determination, as surgeons can spend anywhere between 10 and 18 hours inside the the operating theatre daily 

Her line of work requires a certain level of grit and determination, as surgeons can spend anywhere between 10 and 18 hours inside the the operating theatre daily 

'I didn’t believe I could do it and I've proven to myself that it was possible.' 

She is currently working at Fiona Stanley Hospital, after returning to her hometown of Perth last year from Sydney, where she forged a distinguished career at St Vincent's Hospital and Westmead Children's Hospital.

'I'm lucky because I've had such a broad range of cardiac experiences, dealing with a range of surgeries including replacements and children.' 

She said her education has helped her deal with the huge pressures that come with the work that can involve life-or-death decisions.

'We're lucky here in Australia that we are so well trained and are left in an excellent condition after such strong training to deal with any difficult or unique situations.'

She also pays homage to the dedicated team working effortlessly with her on a daily basis.

'Right from the moment the patient sits down,

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