College of Medicine and Dentistry JCU Graduate nominated for GP of the Year

JCU Graduate nominated for GP of the Year

Fri, 1 Sep 2017

Since graduating from James Cook University’s (JCU) Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 2005, Dr Elizabeth Elliott has enjoyed an exciting and diverse career. This year she was nominated as a state finalist in the 2017 Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Awards for General Practitioner of the Year.

Dr Elliott was one of the first cohort of JCU’s 58 Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery students when the Medical School opened in 2000.

Dr Elliott is now a General Practitioner (GP) with sub-specialisations in travel medicine, expedition medicine, hyperbaric and diving medicine, and anaesthetics, and practices in Hobart.

“General practice has been the conduit to allow me to explore other facets of life and has allowed me to combine my passion with my vocation,” she said.

“I was a bit reluctant to go into general practice and I felt emergency medicine would be a better fit for me. After starting to work in emergency medicine, I found general practice was actually a better fit. General practice is far more diverse in terms of the type of medicine that you can practice. There is greater autonomy, and more flexibility with where you can work and how you can work.”

Dr Elliott travelled to Copenhagen to complete an elective placement during her final year of medical school, and from here joined expeditions to Greenland. This experience introduced Dr Elliott to the field of expedition medicine, which she pursued as an advanced trainee in her general practice specialisation.

Dr Elliott travelled to the SubAntarctic and Antarctica in 2011 and 2014-2015 with the Polar Medicine Unit of the Australian Antarctic Division, working on Macquarie Island and at Casey Station, which she says, was “phenomenal, just brilliant, and cold!”

Dr Elliott said her JCU experience set her up for a diverse and rewarding career.

“There was an inclusiveness encouraged among the students, and the enthusiasm from the faculty and the medical community was really positive and gave me the encouragement, strength and foreboding to follow my dreams and follow any avenue I wanted within my medical career. This attitude has stayed with me to this day.”

Dr Elliott said medical students and young people interested in becoming doctors often ask her for career advice.

“Being a GP has opened up doors, it’s given me the freedom and flexibility to pursue the type of medicine I want to practice. With all the different sub-specialties available, you can build a career that you want.”