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Northern Queensland Regional Training Hubs
Northern Queensland Regional Training Hubs

Discover training in Northern Queensland

Training Opportunities

Announcement

2023 QLD Medical Recruitment Webinar Series

Join us for this exciting series of webinars aimed at informing medical students and junior doctors of their options leading into the 2023 Queensland Intern and RMO Campaigns.

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A network of medical training opportunities

We connect medical students, interns and junior doctors with resources and opportunities to prepare for specialist training and beyond, creating stronger health outcomes in our region.

Dr Tadiwa Mashavave, Junior Doctor, Mackay Base Hospital

Dr Tadiwa Mashavave, Junior Doctor, Mackay Base Hospital

“It was during my time at JCU that I decided I wanted to end up somewhere rural or regional and I thought I would be able to gain a lot of hands-on skills in my junior years at a regional hospital like Mackay Base Hospital. It’s been great working with other doctors who are as passionate about rural health and the people it serves.”
Dr Hannah Bennett, Rural Generalist and Pain Specialist, Townsville University Hospital

Dr Hannah Bennett, Rural Generalist and Pain Specialist, Townsville University Hospital

"As a consultant in Pain Medicine, I have excellent work-life balance. Townsville is a great place to raise a family and there's so much on your doorstep here. It's just an easy life.” Read More
Dr Anthony Brazzale, Cardiologist, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service

Dr Anthony Brazzale, Cardiologist, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service

“We have advanced trainees who come from Brisbane and want to come back here now as consultants. They tell us this is one of the best training centres in Australia. The opportunities you get up here, you’ll get nowhere else.”

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Cardiology Spotlight: Far north local’s heart for rural health

19 May 2022

Cardiology Spotlight: Far north local’s heart for rural health

Cardiologist and JCU alumnus Dr Anthony Brazzale took an ‘all in’ approach to pursuing his career in medicine and it has certainly paid off. His journey into cardiology has taken him from Far North Queensland to major health services across the country and back again. As a Consultant Staff Specialist at Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS), he is part of one of the country’s leading cardiology units and is committed to helping address outback Queensland’s escalating heart disease epidemic. The grandson of Italian immigrants, Dr Brazzale grew up on the family tobacco farm (now mango farm) in Mutchilba, a small community an hour and a half drive north-west of Cairns. His first exposure to cardiology came at a young age from an unexpected role in supporting his grandfather through treatment for heart disease. “I was always very interested in biology and medicine, but the experience with my grandfather’s illness left an impression on me and was a driver for sure,” Dr Brazzale says. “They don't know the cause of his heart failure, but his heart was functioning at 10% of what is considered normal. Because my parents were working long hours on the farm and I could speak a little Italian, I would go into town to appointments with him and translate what the doctor told him,” Dr Brazzale says. Graduating at the top of his class from Mareeba State High School, Dr Brazzale decided to pursue his childhood dream and enroll in Medicine at James Cook University (JCU). “I didn't have a backup option because there wasn’t anything else I was that passionate about. It was either medicine or going back to the family farm. “Given my country upbringing and JCU’s focus on rural health, it was the perfect fit for me,” Dr Brazzale says. After graduating with First Class Honours and completing his internship in Cairns, Dr Brazzale made the move to Brisbane and subsequently the Sunshine Coast to pursue cardiology training. Once he had developed a solid foundation in clinical cardiology he headed further south for a year of sub-specialty training in Interventional Cardiology at Western Health in Melbourne. Keen to return to the Far North, Dr Brazzale moved back to Cairns in 2017, commencing at Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) as a Consultant Staff Specialist in Interventional Cardiology. He also works in private practice offering a range of services in contemporary cardiac care.

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A will to succeed: My path into medicine

18 May 2022

A will to succeed: My path into medicine

THURSDAY 19 MAY 2022 Ep 4 - Career Planning Tips & Tricks If you are unsure about your future medical specialty, join Dr Ashe Coxon from Medical Career Planning for her tips and tricks on choosing a specialty.  Dr Coxon is a General Practitioner, career counsellor and founder of Medical Career Planning. She works with medical students and doctors-in-training to assist them in their career goals, career uncertainty and career transitioning. REGISTER HERE

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Why I decided to stay in North Queensland

17 May 2022

Why I decided to stay in North Queensland

For some doctors, it’s the breadth of interesting clinical medicine and close consultant contact that draws them to North Queensland for their medical training. For others, the clear winner is an easy tropical lifestyle that cuts out the tedious commute and means more time for family, recreation and community. Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Vanessa Lusink landed in Townsville from Sydney to train in advanced laparoscopic gynaecological surgery with leaders in the field and enjoyed it so much, she and her partner decided to stay. Similarly, British doctors Andrew Livingstone and Susannah Bond fell in love with Townsville after arriving as psychiatry registrars and have gone on to help shape their specialty in the region and take full advantage of coastal life with their young family. BreastScreen Mackay Director and Surgeon Dr Wendela Schimmer and Cairns Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Andrew Graham found professional and personal reward in their adopted northern homes, on the doorstep of some of the Sunshine State’s most beautiful natural attractions. Here, they talk about why they decided to put down roots in North Queensland.

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‘The Perfect Mix’: Junior doctors pathway to obstetrics training in the Outback

10 May 2022

‘The Perfect Mix’: Junior doctors pathway to obstetrics training in the Outback

For Dr Sally Magoffin, a rural training pathway is more than a fantastic training opportunity, it’s a way of life. Growing up on a cattle station in Longreach, Dr Magoffin loved the community and lifestyle of the outback. While she got a taste of city life at boarding school in Brisbane, she knew it wasn’t for her. So she headed back up north to study medicine at James Cook University, which set her on the path to discovering her calling in medicine. During a first-year observation placement, Dr Magoffin unexpectedly found herself on an obstetrics rotation and set her sights on the specialisation immediately. After graduating in 2020, she moved to the North-west town of Mount Isa to commence work and pursue obstetric training opportunities in the bush “Obstetrics is such a beautiful and important specialty. It's the job for me that makes me want to bounce out of bed in the morning. It can be very tiring, but you go home with a smile on your face pretty much every day,” Dr Magoffin says. The decision to work in a rural hospital setting is paying off for Dr Magoffin. With exposure to a variety of specialties and cases, supportive supervisors, and hands-on experience, she is a big advocate for pursuing training opportunities in North Queensland. “There's been so much development in the north over the years and there are some incredible doctors who have helped take us a long way towards boosting our workforce and expanding the training opportunities on offer. We’re growing, and it’s an exciting time to be out here. “You'll have the most wonderful time as a doctor in Mount Isa. We have a tight-knit community with the most supportive environment and wonderful training You just don’t get the same hands-on training opportunities as a junior in the bigger centres,” Dr Magoffin said. About the specialty “For me, obstetrics is the perfect mix of surgical and medical skills. It's a really interesting area, you get to care for two people at the same time; mum and baby. And it's just incredibly interesting. When things are going along nicely, it's a beautiful, part of a patient’s life to be involved in, bringing a baby into the world. When things aren’t going to plan, it’s an interesting, fast-paced specialty where you need to think and act very quickly.” The Need for the Community “There's a huge need for good antenatal care and options to delivery your baby locally in the outback. We have such a diverse population, and we have women coming from remote areas who might not have had the opportunity to receive antenatal care yet. The need for obstetric and midwifery-based care in this region is huge, and there's a fantastic opportunity that comes with that. As a doctor, you get to make a really big impact on the region and people's lives. “Having these specialists in Mount Isa makes a huge difference from a travel perspective as well. Without the services here, you would have to travel a long way for something like a cesarean section. That can be expensive and stressful. So with obstetric specialists here, patients get to stay at home, be with their family and enjoy this time.” My journey into obstetrics… “When I was a first-year medical student at JCU, we had to do a short observation placement at the end of the year. I had one week with an orthopedic surgeon and one week with an obstetrician. At the time, I was annoyed that I couldn't get two weeks with the orthopedic surgeon because I thought that was the path I would go down as a doctor. I thought ‘I’ll go to obstetrics because I have to, but it’s not going to be for me’. I went and I loved it! Because I got a taste of it so early on, I’ve been deliberately working towards this pathway as a rural generalist ever since. “I’ve now been at Mount Isa Hospital for one year and I can’t see myself leaving anytime soon. This year, I will rotate through the hospital specialties again, with a focus on obstetrics and gynaecology. Then I’ll spend next year doing Advanced Skills Training in obstetrics.” Training opportunities in a rural setting “I think it's incredibly beneficial to go somewhere rural in your junior doctor years. There is no limit placed on you by going to a more regional or rural site to do your training. You get great exposure to a variety of specialties and cases, you get a lot more hands-on experience, and you get more time with patients. You're not just someone in the background, frantically writing notes on the computer, you're actually interacting with the patients. In terms of meeting certain requirements for specialties and progressing through training, the experience you’ve gained as a junior at a rural site will be so invaluable. “The senior team across all specialties here are incredibly supportive. They focus on getting the junior doctors heavily involved and encouraging them on whichever pathway they want to go. Just the other day I got to have a go at my first ever cesarean section, which two weeks into my second year is pretty unheard of! It was made possible because I’ve got a supervisor who sought out that opportunity for me and was happy to facilitate it.” Work-life balance “It's a lovely hospital community here. I’ve never felt this level of workforce morale anywhere else. You will be so included and welcomed into the Mount Isa community. You get to know your colleagues and the broader community from sporting or special interest groups, neighbours, and people you just meet about town. It’s such a friendly place to be that you could go to the pub by yourself on a Friday night if you were new to town, and you would have a group of friends by the end of the night! You literally can do that in this town. It's so friendly, inclusive and supportive, it's just a lovely place to be.” The North West Hospital and Health Service (NWHHS) consists of one regional hospital, two multipurpose health services, three remote hospitals, four primary health clinics and five community health centres. Covering an area from North Western Queensland to the Gulf of Carpentaria, the service includes the communities of Mount Isa, Burketown, Camooweal, Cloncurry, Dajarra, Doomadgee, Julia Creek, Karumba, Normanton and Mornington Island. NWHHS serves a population of approximately 32,000 people across s 300,000 square kilometres.  

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The NQRTH medical training network:

NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.

Cairns region
(07) 4226 8187

Central West region
(07) 4764 1547

Mackay region
(07) 4885 7122

North West region
(07) 4764 1547

Torres and Cape region
(07) 4095 6103

Townsville region
(07) 4781 3424