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Dr Jana Pittman in the SAS challenge. Dr Jana Pittman in the SAS challenge. Featured
09 September 2021 Posted by 


Blacktown Hospital doctor a reality TV star
BLACKTOWN Hospital’s famous Olympian Dr Jana Pittman has swapped her stethoscope for a grueling survival challenge in the latest series of ‘SAS’ TV on the Seven Network.
Jana’s roller coaster ride of triumph, defeat, failure and success throughout her life makes her ideal for the rigorous format of the show.
The 38-year-old dual Olympian is one of the 18 celebrities who will be subjected to extreme physical and psychological testing on the upcoming military-style show.
And in a sneak peak of the dramatic new trailer, the retired Olympic hurdler-turned-doctor said she hoped to make her 'beautiful children proud' in a course that will test her 'beyond anything' she's ever done.
Now, every career at the heights of sport is a journey through the peaks and troughs that shape us all and Jana is no exception.
Two times World Champion, four times Commonwealth Champion, she personifies resilience and determination.
Jana was born in Western Sydney and attended Matthew Pearce Primary School, Mount St Benedict College and Girraween High School.
She is a two-time world champion in the 400m hurdles, from 2003 and 2007. She also won the gold medal in this event at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games and was part of Australia's winning 4 × 400 metres relay teams at both events.
In fact, Jana is in rarified air as one of only nine athletes, including Usain Bolt, to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event.
And just to top it all off, she switched to the Winter Olympics and represented Australia in the two woman bobsleigh, making her the first Australian female athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
It was in January 2013, while training for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Jana began studying medicine at Western Sydney University.
She was one of 130 interns to join Western Sydney Local Health District interns as part of the 2020 intake.
“Blacktown Emergency Department prepared me well for the SAS show,” Jana said.
Thrown out of helicopter, strapped in a flooding car - it sounds like a Hollywood movie but is the very real series of challenges faced by Blacktown Hospital’s resident doctor on season two of SAS Australia.
It was tough going 
However, it was tough going even for one of Australia’s best athletes and she admitted SAS Australia was one of the hardest things she’d ever done.
“It is as close to SAS training as you can do and it’s quite extraordinary to see what some of these guys would put themselves through to gain selection. It was mind boggling,” she said.
“They gassed us at one point and you feel like you’re dying and then the next minute you’re being thrown out of a helicopter and then the next minute climbing through mud; it was just never ending. It was relentless.”
SAS chief instructor Ant Middleton described Dr Pittman as a “lioness”, telling her: “Whatever fire you’ve ignited within you, if you keep that, you will be here at the end of the course.”
Jana had given birth to her fourth child just six months before filming and took on the challenge at the end of her maternity leave.
She even returned to Blacktown Hospital’s obstetrics and gynecology department just three days after finishing filming.
“Anyone who has kids understand that’s not an easy feat to get back fitness, let alone no sleep, so most of it was just mental toughness, just trying to battle through the challenges and then not give up,” Jana said.
“I came back to work really skinny with a big black eye and all these bruises down my arms and I particularly remember this one patient looking at me and going: ‘Are you okay?’ I said I had just done a sports course on the weekend but I’m not so sure she believed me.”
Jana said working in Blacktown’s emergency department helped prepared her for the grueling SAS course.
“It’s a go, go, go kind of intensity and I have had the privilege of looking after very acutely sick patients,” she said.
“It is a privilege and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be working on frontline through a pandemic and trying to ease patients’ fears. Hopefully what we learn from this will be huge in terms of being better doctors.
“I feel very protected by the way our hospitals are managing this pandemic, which is great. I have never had a day where I haven’t felt safe.
“The whole team at Blacktown are literally amazing. They’re wonderful teachers, incredibly supportive, and very flexible.”
Jana said Blacktown Hospital had supported her to remain part-time this year while she balanced home-schooling with work on the front line.
Her long-term plan is to remain in obstetrics and gynecology at Blacktown Hospital but she’s also signed up for a medical role in the Army Reserves “to fill the adrenaline void”.
“It’s my second year at Blacktown but I also did all my medical school training there so I feel like an old hand. It’s been a good to be able to watch it evolve and grow into this new, amazing hospital.
“I love working at Blacktown Hospital. I’ve had incredible support from the workforce and I also feel very protected by the doctors. They all know me, they don’t care who you are on television, they just really treat you as one of the family and I’ve found that a really beautiful thing.”
SOURE: Western Sydney Health News


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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