8 February, 2023

Back to where it all began

METRO North Health welcomed its new medical intern cohort in January, with 17 junior doctors heading to Caboolture Hospital including Dr Tim McErlane.

Dr Tim McErlane is a new Caboolture Hospital intern who was born in the hospital.
Dr Tim McErlane is a new Caboolture Hospital intern who was born in the hospital.

A total of 834 medical interns were deployed across 20 Queensland facilities – the largest intake of junior doctors in Queensland history.

A further 200 ambulance operatives are also set to join them on the frontline in a further boost to better, more accessible health services right across the state.

For Dr McErlane, Caboolture Hospital was his first choice as he not only wanted to be in a smaller hospital for his formative years, but also because he was born there in 1997!

“I doubt the OBGYN or midwife still work at the hospital,” he said.

“I wanted to immerse myself in an experience that I wouldn’t get at a tertiary hospital.

“So, when it came time to pick, places like

Rockhampton, Caboolture, Mackay all crossed my mind, but the driving factor was being ‘home’ amongst close friends and family.”

“It just felt much more natural.”

Dr McErlane said doing a two-month elective in the emergency department at Caboolture as part of his medical degree solidified his decision.

The Caboolture local did his undergraduate studies in human movement and nutrition sciences at the University of Queensland before studying medicine at Griffith University as part of their inaugural cohort at the Sunshine Coast site.

“Medicine was always a relatively easy choice.

“I had an interest in the physical sciences, but I realised early on I liked working with people and solving problems.

“Medicine gave me the ability to combine these interests.”

Dr McErlane said none of his immediate family are doctors.

His dad was a paramedic and his mum worked in residential aged care.

“My younger sister graduated from pharmacy last year and is now working in a community pharmacy at Narangba.”

The St Columban’s College graduate said within his first two days at Caboolture hospital he had seen many familiar faces – in the staff and also patients.

“Friends from school, old family friends, acquaintances from local sporting clubs.

“I’ve had a few chats on the wards with patients and staff who I’d met previously in other settings.”

Dr McErlane said he has settled well into his new position at Caboolture Hospital thanks to the clinical, operational and professional teams who have provided him great support.

After completing a week- long intensive orientation program, interns across Metro North hospitals embark on rotations in medicine, surgery, emergency medicine and additional elective terms in other specialised areas.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said the investment in medical interns across Queensland was the largest yet.

“I am pleased to announce that this year’s intake is the largest we have seen in Queensland,” Ms D’Ath said.

“The expertise and energy of these medical interns will benefit many communities across the state, enhancing accessibility to local services and delivering a much-needed respite to local healthcare workers.

“Queensland has not been immune to the workforce pressures being experienced by healthcare systems across the world, but with only 13 spots left to fill, I am confident this year’s intake of junior doctors will provide a significant boost to the medical workforce in rural, regional, and metropolitan hospitals.”


Most Popular