Medical student trained in Emerald returns as GP registrar

  • Dr Spencer undertaking a procedure.
    Dr Spencer undertaking a procedure.
  • Dr Spencer and Dr Varsani.
    Dr Spencer and Dr Varsani.




After spending the past three and a half years working in a subspecialist surgical role on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Dr Brad Spencer is returning to the Emerald clinic where he undertook medical training and will commence as GP registrar.

In 2015, Brad spent six weeks with the Priority Health Group, completing his rural and remote placement as a medical student with The University of Queensland (UQ). He went on to complete four years of postgraduate training in surgery when a change in priorities led him to seek a career that offered a more balanced work–life career.

Priority Health Group Principal Supervisor and UQ lecturer, Dr Shashikant Varsani, is immensely proud to welcome Dr Spencer back to the clinic.

‘Dr Spencer was one of the first medical students the clinic hosted back in 2016, so we are so fortunate that he has finished his degree and undertaken training in other areas of Queensland before bringing his skills back to our community.’

UQ Mayne Academy of Rural and Remote Medicine Head, Associate Professor Dr Bruce Chater, says exposing medical students to the unique settings of our rural and remote health clinics and hospitals early in their medical careers is critical to establishing the rural doctor pipeline.

‘Medical students often decide on their future career during their training years, so exposing them to as many opportunities as possible during their studies is crucial to our long-term goal of filling rural medical workforce shortages.

‘It’s so pleasing to know that Dr Spencer’s rural and remote placement impacted him so much that he decided to return to Emerald as a qualified doctor.’

Brad is now enjoying the variety of presentations he sees daily.

‘I see people from all walks of life with a range of issues varying in their acuteness, which can be challenging, but gives me the opportunity to upskill.’

Residents of Central Highlands now have access to advanced plastic surgery treatments, such as complex skin cancer removals, in Emerald, reducing the need to refer them to regional and metro specialists.

Brad says he looks forward to making a difference in the community while living a more balanced life with his fiancée and Golden Retriever puppy and pursuing a Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Fellowship.

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