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A life changing accident set Dr Kris McQuaid on the path to become a rural General Practitioner.
Dr McQuaid is a General Practice registrar, with James Cook University’s (JCU) Generalist Medical Training (GMT) program.
He said as a medical student he was originally drawn to plastic and reconstructive surgery.
“In my final year at medical school I badly fractured my leg and the surgeons who put me back together advised me that, any career in surgery was now out of the question,” he said.
“Thankfully this put me on the path that I am on now. I can’t imagine working in any other specialty.”
Dr McQuaid was recently appointed Senior Medical Officer at Maleny Soldiers Memorial Hospital, on the Sunshine Coast – a goal he has been working towards for the past six years.
The Hospital is one of three hospitals in Queensland with a sub-acute rehabilitation unit, offering specialised treatments for patients with movement disorders.
Dr McQuaid’s work involves rehabilitating patients with complex movement disorders.
“The movement disorder skills are probably the biggest array of skill that I’ve learnt. We treat patients with Parkinson’s disease and a lot of other complex movement disorder patient presentations.”
He said, the skills and industry training learnt through the GMT program have been invaluable in his practice as a senior medical officer.
“I remember the first time that I had to run a resuscitation for a very sick patient, without the immediate help of senior medical staff. That case was a very memorable experience for me, because it was the first time that I had to be the senior doctor - I knew the training wheels had come off,” he said.
Dr McQuaid has completed Advanced Skills Training in Emergency Medicine.
“Emergency medicine is a primary care role. The responsibility in the hospital is that you have to manage the emergency presentation as well as, anyone else who walks through the door. You have to be able to manage sick patients very quickly. I never get bored with the mix of practice” he said.
The Maleny Hospital has been one of his favourite GMT training posts.
“The cliché is that the hospital is like one big family but it truly is, I feel like I’ve accomplishing a lot,” he said.
Dr McQuiad is on track to fellow with ACRRM at the start of 2019.