Women of the Peninsula:
Dr Katherine Smallcombe
To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, Peninsula Life share with you the stories and achievements of women from all walks of life around our region.
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Dr Katherine Smallcombe and I’m the Principal Ophthalmologist at KindSIGHT. I am lucky enough to consult and operate at Peninsula Private Hospital, in addition to having a private clinic at Indooroopilly. I specialise in treating diseases of the aging eye, including cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma, as well as diabetic eye disease and pterygium surgery.
I am a Brisbane local and have lived here all my life. At home, I am a mother of two small, beautiful children. It’s a tough juggling act to be a mother, wife, businesswoman and a surgeon, but I love what I do and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What would you define as your greatest achievement or accomplishment?
I’ve had many highlights in my career, but the greatest achievement has definitely been opening my own practice in 2016. Taking the plunge and launching KindSIGHT took a lot of hard work and no small amount of courage, but the result has been extremely rewarding. Creating a practice that was centred around care, communication and connection with patients has really set KindSIGHT apart from other practices, and I’m incredibly proud of the KindSIGHT team and what we’ve accomplished in so short a time.
Did you overcome any hurdles or barriers when working towards your achievement? Can you tell us how you overcame them?
The biggest challenge for me in launching KindSIGHT was trying to strike the right balance between being a mother and a business owner. Having a family with small children meant I was very concerned about how I would achieve a healthy work-life balance, and this is something that I work with my husband and family to achieve constantly. For us, it’s about being a team and communicating clearly and patiently with each other.
Being confident in my ability to manage a practice on my own was also a big challenge. Overcoming feelings of self-doubt and imposter syndrome was difficult, but I’ve found that celebrating my successes (no matter how small) and positive self-talk has really helped me to back myself and face any challenges head-on.
What advice would you give to women?
Support each other! Women accomplish so much more when they support and empower one another.
I work in a very male dominated field, and what I’ve noticed is that as women we are often required to play so many different roles, which isn’t easy. But when we support each other that’s when we get the best out of ourselves and can reach our full potential as strong, powerful women.
What do you love most about the Peninsula?
I love the people. Working at the Peninsula Private Hospital, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and speak to people from all walks of life, particularly retirees with some amazing stories to tell. I’ve watched the area continue to grow which is fantastic, and I absolutely love the lifestyle. Living by the water is good for the soul and it’s a beautiful part of Queensland. I am lucky to have the opportunity to work here.