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Covering the Central Highlands
Central West Queensland

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5 August, 2020

Never a dull moment for doctors

Action stations for three 'off duty' young medics


LOGGING OVERTIME: Nicholas Storey, Dr Madeleine Storey, Dr Evan Morgan, Dr David Carr and Dr Madeline Thomson.

MEDICAL STAFF are never really off duty.

That’s the harsh reality experienced by Rockhampton Hospital junior doctors Madeleine Storey, Evan Morgan and David Carr over the past month.

On July 24, the three young doctors were playing tennis at Dalby Downs, the Storey family farm 10km south of Capella, when Madeleine’s father David alerted them to a line of stopped traffic and flashing red and blue lights on the Gregory Highway.

They drove through the paddock to investigate and discovered a truck had rolled over.

They introduced themselves to the Capella-based paramedic and volunteered to help, including successfully cannulating the patient, a tricky procedure roadside at dusk.

Just three weeks earlier the trio, with another colleague Dr Madeline Thomson and Dr Storey’s brother Nicholas (school captain at Rockhampton Grammar School), were bushwalking in Blackdown Tablelands National Park when they found a woman with a broken ankle.

They created an improvised splint for the woman and drove her 20km to where they could get reception to call the Queensland Ambulance Service. They met the Blackwater ambulance at the highway.

Dr Morgan said he was delighted the trio had been able to help these two patients.

“We all graduated from medical school in the last two years, so our skills are pretty fresh, but we were in awe of the work done by the paramedics - their professionalism in the field was a great insight,” he said.

“While the Emergency Department at Rockhampton Hospital is organised and thankfully well-lit, we have twice experienced the challenges that the ambulance service deals with every day – especially in rural and remote areas. It has been a great eye opener.”

Dr Storey, a registrar with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, said she was enjoying showing Victorian-raised Dr Morgan around Central Queensland and introducing him to country life, but she hadn’t expected quite so much drama.

‘It is very rewarding to be able to lend a hand while in my home community, but I think it is fair to say that we would all rather keep our skills in the hospital environment. But we will always do our bit,’ Dr Storey said.

Dr Carr, who is working in Emerald, said he wondered if the three of them were either good luck or bad luck for the community.

‘With no upcoming excursions we shouldn’t have to provide any more pre-hospital medicine in the near future, but it was a rewarding challenge to rise to,” he said.

The three junior doctors are based at Rockhampton Hospital and looking forward to continuing their training in Central Queensland.

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