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JCU registrar set for life in the bush

29th June 2017

Dr Cameron Hoare is a James Cook University (JCU) GP registrar dedicated to providing good primary and hospital care to the town he now calls home.

The Cardwell raised doctor decided on a tree change after his fourth year medical placement in Cloncurry, at the Flinders Medical Centre.

He said it was his JCU medical degree that set him on his rural career path.

“When I started doing medicine I really enjoyed emergency medicine. One of my first elective placements was with the Queensland Ambulance Service in Townsville.

“I never really liked cities, but I liked the excitement of some emergency medicine and I liked pretty much everything (about medicine),” he said.

“Then I found a place (Cloncurry) where I could do proper general practice and still do emergency medicine.”

In Cloncurry, Dr Hoare met mentors Dr Bryan Conner, Dr Christopher Appleby and Dr Julie Verran at the Flinders Medical Centre. He said they showed him what proper General Practice was about.

“You look after patients in hospitals, you deal with a resuscitation or two, you put people’s bones back into place when they fall off a horse and (look after people in) palliative care, you do pretty much everything. All the proper general parts of General Practice were done in Cloncurry,” he said.

After his first placement as a medical student in the rural town, Dr Hoare returned in his sixth year of medicine and then again later to undertake GP training with the JCU.

He applauded the JCU's General Practice Training program, saying it strongly encouraged doctors to take up rural and remote posts.

“JCU definitely have an advantage there that they are providing registrar training and trying to support registrars training out west, which is actually a great success.”

Set to fellow with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 2018, Dr Hoare has his sights firmly set on a long and rewarding career in the bush.

“Ideally I would probably want to end up being the practice owner of Flinders Medical Centre and the Medical Superintendent of Cloncurry and Julia Creek Hospitals at the same time. But I have to get a few more years of experience before I can do that.

“Overall the quality of the medicine is great, the continuity of care is great, the skills and knowledge that I acquire are fantastic.”

Dr Hoare said he was grateful for the guidance of his mentors including Dr Leonie Fromberg.

“She started as a registrar in Cloncurry about six or seven years ago and is now one of the qualified fellowed GPs in Cloncurry. She has been a great support and a role model,” he said. “Brian Conner is probably the best mentor any registrar could ask for.”

“The other person I have to thank is my boyfriend Craig. When we first started dating I told him my future is probably going to be out bush somewhere. He took the brave step of following me to Cloncurry, where he had never been before or had any friends or family or connections. He’s been a really good support for me out here.”

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