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COVID-19 Information for registrars, supervisors and training posts

New doctors for Emerald

25th January 2018

Two new doctors will soon arrive in Emerald via a James Cook University program training general practitioners across north western Queensland.

Dr Melissa Newman and Dr Nipuna Wickremaratne are part of a cohort of more than 130 doctors state-wide who are embarking on GP training through the Generalist Medical Training (GMT) program.

The pair attended an introductory workshop in Cairns this week, and say they are looking forward to getting settled into their new roles at the Emerald Hospital.

“I am looking forward to meeting my new colleagues and patients,” said Dr Wickremaratne. “I enjoy practicing in rural communities, as you get to develop your skills quickly and see a lot of things you might not see in the big city hospitals,”

GMT Director, Associate Professor Peta-Ann Teague said the new training GPs will help to fill workforce gaps in many parts of Queensland.

“JCU has coordinated the placement of new doctors from Thursday Island to Tewantin, Mount Isa to Maroochydore, and Cairns to Cloncurry,” Associate Professor Teague said.

"We dedicate time and resources to matching applicants with training posts that will benefit their careers as well as the community. The training posts in our region provide the opportunity to develop an extended scope of practice that goes beyond urban, office-based general practice," she said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing these enthusiastic doctors make a real difference in their communities, particularly those communities who most need them. JCU has a strong record of producing a skilled workforce for northern Australia and this new cohort of GPs will add to that legacy."

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. For more information about Generalist Medical Training visit



Dr Nipuna Wickremaratne (left) and Dr Melissa Newman (right) and are looking forward to starting their new roles in Emerald.

Further information

Carlie Sage - JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry / 0435 796 480 or Tianna Graham / 0428 442 633.

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Get In Touch

Ph: 07 4781 3262
Building 39, Level 1,
James Cook University,
Townsville QLD 4811