Australian & New Zealand Childrens Haematology/Oncology Group


Celebrating Doctors’ Day

Saturday 30 March 2024

30 March marks Doctors’ Day, an international day to recognise the important contribution doctors make in our communities.

Around 25% of ANZCHOG members are doctors – ranging from oncologists, haematologists and clinicians to clinical research professionals and scientists. Each and every one of them works tirelessly to provide the best possible outcomes for children and young people with cancer.

To mark Doctors’ Day, we spoke with two of ANZCHOG’s members about what their role means to them and what their career path has looked like to get to where they are. Read our chat with Dr Siobhan Cross and Dr Neevika Manoharan below.

What is your current role and how did you come to work in the paediatric oncology/haematology space?

Dr Siobhan Cross

I’m a paediatric haematologist/oncologist in Christchurch, New Zealand.  I cover both malignant and non-malignant haematology as well as a half day in the laboratory and ward cover of patients with other cancers.  I initially thought I ended up becoming a paediatric haematologist by accident but recently I realised that each time I had a choice in my career I followed the path that interested me the most and that’s how I ended up in my pretty niche situation.

Dr Neevika Manoharan

I am a paediatric oncologist based at Sydney Children’s Hospital and am passionate about improving the outcomes for children and young adults with brain tumours. I fell in love with paediatric oncology as a junior doctor when I met the amazing children and families who were on their cancer journey. My career has already allowed me to work with amazing children, families and colleagues around the country and overseas and I look forward to seeing where the field moves in the next 20 years.

What is the best part of your role?

Dr Siobhan Cross

The fact that I get to see the patient, see their bone marrow morphology and results, talk with the family and start a treatment plan and then follow them up after they finish treatment – it’s the fact that I get to follow their care from start to finish.

Dr Neevika Manoharan

That’s easy – the kids – they teach me what it means to ‘stop and smell the roses’ every day.

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself when you were first starting out in your career?

Dr Siobhan Cross

Don’t get too stressed about doing things the way everyone else has done them – things tend to work out in the end.  And always follow your gut!

Dr Neevika Manoharan

I would definitely say my biggest advice would be that you have your whole career ahead of you and not to sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the journey – the colleagues, the friends, the patients –  you learn something from each and every one of them.

ANZCHOG is a non-profit organisation committed to ensuring Australian and New Zealand children receive world-class cancer care. We are the peak professional body for paediatric oncologists and health professionals who care for children with cancer, spearheading national initiatives to enhance clinical care through communication, research, networking and education. We are also the national cooperative clinical trials group for childhood cancer, actively working with trial consortia around the globe to ensure Australian and New Zealand children have the opportunity to access the latest promising cancer treatments.