CQ draws in new doctors from across the country
DOCTOR Rupert Kenny has had a vagabond work life - growing up in Toowoomba, and working in Canada, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, and Papua New Guinea as an engineer, before moving to Brisbane to begin his medical studies at 26.
Dr Kenny, now 30, was one of 36 medical interns to begin their medical careers in Central Queensland this week - with an intensive orientation at Rockhampton Hospital before joining clinical teams across the region.
Dr Kenny's first introduction to CQ life was when his parents filmed a documentary on camp drafting. His dad's best friend also has a property in CQ.
"I've heard really great things about the training that Rockhampton offers the junior doctors and it's a beautiful area up here," he said.
While working in PNG, he decided to take the plunge and change his career.
"It's the fulfilment you get with helping people directly," he said.
"Everyone is here for the right reasons and to do the best for people in Rockhamton."
Dr Kenny will head to Theodore for his second rotation where he will work in the rural GP practise. His partner is also a medical intern.
"I'm really looking forward to it," he said.
"I'm sure I'll get to do a whole new set of skills I haven't done yet and we'll see if we see any snake bites or anything else."
Dr Evan Morgan, 24, grew up in Melbourne and after studying at James Cook University, he decided to undertake his internship at Emerald Medical Group.
"I'm excited to start in the emergency department and work with people in Central Queensland," he said.
"My partner (Madeline Storey) is a Capella girl and she's had fantastic years as a junior doctor here at Rocky Hospital and so it was a very easy choice to come here. She felt really supported by the other doctors who have made a home in Rocky and as a consequence are not turning over qiuckly like some of the major hospitals down south.
"I do realy enjoy critical care in an emergency department but ideally I'd like to work as a rural generalist and go out in the bush working.
"It's a really rewarding profesion and something I'm really excited to undertake."
Mount Morgan's Dr Tayla Matthews came from a family of health care professionals - so the passion for helping others was ingrained in her from a young age.
"I did my nursing degree at CQU and worked in Mount Morgan hospital and then I made the transition to go down to Victoria to do my medical training," she said.
"I'm very excited and privileged to be coming back.
"Mount Morgan Hospital was an incredibly supportive and nurturing environment.
"We all know the health inequalities and inequities out there in healthcare so the more doctors we get out rural, the better it is for the country."
Dr Matthews also said interns choosing CQ was great for the region as it helped encourage doctors to stay rural.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga wished the interns well and lauded the large intake of interns - with more than 100 applications pouring in.
Mrs Lauga said the HHS was working to develop a business case to develop a medical school with CQUni in the region.
"It's great these doctors are starting here today but hopefully in the future we will have local students starting their degrees here in Rocky and continuing their career at the hospital as well," Mrs Lauga said.
The business case is underway and the school could become a reality by 2023.