The Alliance is pleased to highlight nine personal stories from medical practitioners in rural and remote Australia. These rural doctors diagnose physical and mental illnesses, disorders and injuries, and prescribe medications and treatment to promote or restore good health. The personal stories coincide with the launch of a fact sheet about the rural medical practitioner workforce.
The personal stories not only highlight how important medical practitioners are to rural communities, but also the unique situations and challenges they face every day.
Take Simon, a general practice registrar from northern Queensland:
“The infectious diseases you see here are different from most other places in Australia. So you get to carry out research and clinical practice in infections you just don’t see anywhere else—the opportunities are endless.”
Or Julia, an emergency medicine registrar from north-west Queensland:
“If trauma is your thing, come during rodeo season. You’ll be amazed at what a hoof can do to any part of the body. You’ll be amazed at what a person can survive and still be determined to beat their record at the next event. However, I am aware that much of what brings my patients to the hospital, outside of rodeo injuries, stems from extreme poverty and incredible levels of disempowerment.”
Other stories highlight the unpredictability of injuries in the bush. For example David tells us about a patient who, at the annual Marree Camel Cup, was airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital by the Royal Flying Doctor Service after being hit in the face by a camel swinging its jaw. And Louis shows how the unique skills of an anaesthetist saved the life of a four-year-old child who suffered severe burns, 1600km away from the nearest burns unit.