How is JCU making a difference?
Take a look at our JCU GP training stories
"It came to a point where it was time to do something different,"
"The longer you serve in the Army, the more you come to appreciate the sacrifices that young Australian men and women make. I wanted to do the best that I could for these young men and women.”
At age 40,
"I’d spent a lot of time in the workforce in leadership roles, with responsibility for the work outcomes of subordinates. The transition into the role of a student — where all I was responsible for was my own learning, passing exams and doing well —was quite a liberating and uplifting experience," he said.
It was during a medical school placement in Orange, a rural town in central western
"Rural and Army communities are similar in many ways. Close-knit groups of people who are young and generally fit and healthy, working together, often battling hardships like droughts, flooding rains, isolation.”
After completing medical training in Sydney and working as a junior doctor for several years,
“Barcaldine was fantastic and a great introduction to
“It was also great preparation for being an Army doctor. Being the doctor on call in Barcaldine Hospital isn’t too dissimilar to what I've faced as an Army doctor in a tent during an exercise in Shoalwater Bay. When someone on a radio says 'we've got someone who is injured and they are going to be in your location in thirty minutes', this is very similar to the experiences of GPs working in rural and remote areas of Australia.”
“There are 4,000 or so soldiers on the barracks and the demographics are a bit different to a usual GP practice. However, for a young and fit population, you can be surprised by the types of presentations that you see
The barracks provides acute and chronic health care services.
“As an Army GP, I also have an obligation to the Defence Force to make sure the soldiers I’m treating are medically fit enough for the physical and mental demands of military service. In this
The Barracks’ practice is staffed by a mixture of civilian and
“It's good to have doctors who are fresh off the street who have a different perspective, and doctors who have been in the military before who have a good understanding of the nuances of service.”
Serving as a GP in the Defence Force means
“The Army doctor will go out with a nurse and a couple of medics to the middle of nowhere and what you can carry in on your back, or in the back of a Land Rover, is what you have to deal with whatever crisis might arise. So it presents some unique challenges."
“Being able to help people and learn about them is a privileged position to be in. Being an older student, coming from a different career, having served overseas, and working with young men and women in the Army, plus raising my own family – all these are life experiences I have found to be beneficial, certainly when relating to my patients.
"The thing about medicine in a rural or regional area is that it's so fascinating, and nearly every patient has an interesting story to tell. Every day is a new learning experience and to have the opportunity to do this later in life is a real privilege."
GMT Deputy Director
“James Cook University is the provider of general practice training in
GMT is JCU’s specialist training program for medical graduates pursuing a career in general practice. JCU is contracted by the Australian Department of Health to deliver the AGPT program in North Western Queensland.