Moving medicine out to the people

Peter fell into the medical industry through an unexpected job offer, and uncovered a passion for it. The downside to lacking a degree though, was credibility.

Over two decades ago, Peter found himself working in the medical technology industry, with limited business knowledge, and no formal knowledge of science. Since then, he’s become the company’s Medical Business Manager, he’s gained two university degrees, and has helped to build a thriving business, which is changing the practice of medicine in a huge way.

Back in 1995, Peter and his now-colleagues started a business called Point of Care Diagnostics (POCD). The company provides medical technology, which allows patients to to undergo medical tests at their place and time of care – perhaps at their home during the night. Patients receive results right then and there, rather than sending tests off to a laboratory, and playing the waiting game.

Science applied sciences student Peter Merrilees in the warehouse
Peter - Studied Science with RMIT University, through Open Universities Australia.

This also encompasses treatment, such as at-home blood dialysis, rather than daily visits to the hospital. “For anyone who has ever experienced that… it’s a heaven-sent change” says Peter. The products that POCD deliver, completely change the workflow for clinicians, and get patients quicker and more convenient treatment.

When Peter got started, he didn’t have a degree behind him. Perhaps it was fate that Peter fell into the medical industry through an unexpected job offer, because he uncovered a passion he never anticipated. The downside to lacking a degree though, was credibility.

"I hated having to answer, my background is in sales.” says Peter “It didn’t give [the clinicians] confidence in what I was talking about, and it didn’t give me confidence."

Peter enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (Applied Sciences) with RMIT, online via OUA, specialising in Biotechnology. He gained confidence through his newfound knowledge, whilst enjoying the flexibility of working study around his career. He then went onto an MBA to really solidify his business skills. This well rounded knowledge has served Peter well, as his role encompasses a great variety of duties, including liaising with customers, sales, marketing, technical support, training and education, and strategic development.

Study has given Peter a great advantage in his role, and his future looks brighter than ever. “I’m definitely keen to keep pushing the limits”.

Science applied sciences student Peter Merrilees close up

Change begins with a solid education

For someone who began his career without direction, Peter ended up finding his calling, strengthening his skills though study, and making some incredible progress in an industry we all rely on. It’s never too late to find a career that you’re passionate about, and make your mark on the world.

Through OUA, you can study online, in your own time and space. Everything you need is provided in your university’s online Learning Management System (LMS). You’ll study the same coursework as an on-campus student, only with more flexibility to tailor your experience. To help you find the right study option, OUA has a team of experts, who’ll also help you manage your studies after enrolment. So come join OUA’s passionate community of students – online, but never alone.


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