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Cairns Medical Educator Passionate about Patient Care after beating Cancer in adolescences

24th September 2018

Since Dr Alexandra Te-Loo was a child, she had a passion for helping people. It’s not a surprise that earlier this year, Dr Te-Loo, jumped at the chance to become a James Cook University (JCU), medical educator.

“I’ve wanted to be a medical educator for a while now. Earlier this year, I became a part of JCU's General Practice Training program. Mainly I am looking after twelve, first year registrars from the Cairns region. As a medical educator it’s my job to give extra support to people who need a leg up and give them resources to learn as much as they can,” she said.

Dr Te-Loo knew from a young age that she wanted to become a doctor.

“When I was five, I told my Mum that I was going to be a Pediatrician. I don’t know where it came from because there are no medical professionals in my family. I just wanted to help people and make them better.”

As a teenager, Dr Te-loo was diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumor. She said, the quality of care she received during her treatment strengthened her dream of becoming a medical professional.

“When I was fifteen, I found out that I had a Craniopharyngioma and I stayed in the Townsville General Hospital for about six months. When I was going through my treatment, I kept saying to my neurosurgeon that I wanted to be a neurosurgeon too,” she said.

Dr Te-Loo studied a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at JCU in Townsville. She said, one of the clinical placements inspired her to becoming a General Practitioner (GP).

“It’s hard to know what area you want to go into when you’re studying medicine until you’ve finished and experienced it all. I was a resident in a GP practice for a semester and I really liked the variety.”

After graduating from JCU, she went on to Fellow with The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 2014.

For the past five years, Dr Te-Loo has worked as a GP at the Mount Sheridan Medical Practice in Cairns.

“As a GP, you have to know a lot about a lot of different conditions. It’s nice to have continuity of care with patients, you get to look after entire families and are able to see little kids grow up,” she said.

Dr Te-Loo said, that she wants to continue learning and teaching registrars.

“Because I am a little bit greener than other educators, I can relate to the registrars and their experience a lot more. When registrars try to do their fellowship exam, there is a huge difference, outcome wise, between people who are in a JCU training program, opposed to someone who isn’t,” she said.

Dr Alex Te-Loo said, that she loves having the opportunity to help others achieve their dreams.

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