Keeping it all in the family: three Dr Coles at JCU medical graduation
When he graduates in Townsville tomorrow (December 17), James Cook University medical student Benjamin Cole will continue a long tradition of medical expertise that has run through both sides of his family.
Ben’s paternal grandparents, Dr Alastair Cole and Dr Dorothy (Dot) Cole, were both graduates from Melbourne University.
Dot worked as a GP while Alastair specialised as a surgeon. Dot’s father was also a doctor, who was killed in World War Two.
From 1971, Dr Alistair Cole worked at Townsville General Hospital becoming the Medical Superintendent there from 1975 to 1987.
Ben’s maternal grandfather, Dr Gregory Murphy went on to become a clinical psychiatrist and practised at Wickham Terrace, Brisbane, for 45 years until his retirement in 1991. Two of Ben’s great grandfathers were doctors.
Ben’s father, Dr Ian Cole, was a University of Queensland graduate, and now works as a Cairns General Practitioner, a Hospital Medical Officer at Cairns Private Hospital, and as a senior lecturer in General Practice at JCU. Ben’s mother Angela Murphy is a Cairns-based playwright.
In 2015, Ben will begin his internship at The Townsville Hospital, which will re-establish the connections his grandfather made there, 43 years earlier.