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Written By

Rachelle McCabe

College of Medicine and Dentistry

College of Medicine and Dentistry

Publish Date

26 June 2023

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Feeling right at home

She's a rainforest-loving, horse-riding environmentalist who feels right at home in the Tropics. When it was time set down roots after graduation, Cairns local Dr Georgia Krause had no desire to look too far afield.

JCU Medicine Class of 2022 graduate, Georgia Krause is also one of Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service’s newest doctors. Currently undertaking her general medicine rotation, intern Dr Krause is relishing the opportunity to kick start her medical career in picturesque Far North Queensland.

"I have set roots in Far North Queensland. I am so incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work in Cairns. Far North Queensland is a very special place in my eyes," Dr Krause says.

Dr Krause had spent her high school years in Cairns, but her time at JCU took her to many diverse settings. The unique rural and remote placements embedded in the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery allowed Dr Krause to spend time in Western Australia’s Broome and Beagle Bay as well as various hospitals and health services across Queensland. She even travelled to Nepal to work with some of the world’s most disadvantaged patients.

Now, she’s back in Cairns and ready to make a difference.

Georgia and other MBBS6 students in 2022
Georgia Krause on placement at Mossman District Hospital
Left: Georgia and fellow final-year JCU medical students in 2022 on rotation at Cairns Hospital. Right: Georgia while on placement in Mossman, Far North Queensland. (Supplied by Dr Georgia Krause.)

Diving straight into the real world

Dr Krause says her degree ensured she was well-prepared for her internship in Cairns. “The number of placements and the fact they start early on in our degree mean we come out very work ready. We are used to patient contact and have refined our communication skills, and I think that's what makes a good doctor great,” she says.

“There have been many times I’ve been out of my comfort zone on placement and now as an intern, but I think it's about stepping up to that challenge. That's where you feel the growth, it's always when you feel a little bit uncomfortable.

“Some of my most memorable clinical experiences that provided the momentum for significant growth (professionally and personally) have come from times I’ve felt the most challenged. Embrace all opportunities that are presented to you — you never know where they will take you.”

She’s the Doctor now

Dr Krause is currently completing a general medicine rotation as part of her internship and as such encounters a broad range of health presentations. “I remember being rather nervous on my first day, but everyone was very welcoming and supportive. I’m just taking it one day at a time, it's not about being the best, it's about doing my best,” Dr Krause says.

“I’m still getting used to being referred to as a doctor and realising people are looking to me for advice and input. It's real life and real people, no longer an OSCE station — lives ultimately do depend on it, although not in the sense of life or death all the time.

“I consider every interaction [with patients and colleagues] as an opportunity for impact. What may appear on a surface level as a simple exchange may leave a lasting impression on a patient or colleague,” Dr Krause says. “We may never know the true extent of our impact on the lives of those around us, so I consider my position a great privilege.”

Dr Krause says that some of the challenges she’s encountered include dealing with complex interpersonal dynamics between patients and their families, as well as coming face-to-face with the realities of the social determinants of health. But overall, Dr Krause says she’s loving her new professional life.“Cairns Hospital in particular has such a great culture — everyone is very collegial, welcoming and very patient-centred, which I appreciate,” she says.

"Embrace all opportunities that are presented to you — you never know where they will take you."

JCU Medicine Alumni Dr Georgia Krause

Embracing community and the natural environment

Once she has completed her pre-vocational training, Dr Krause's career aspirations include working in rural communities and aeromedical medicine. But before she moves on to pursue her future aspirations, she is making the most of life in tropical North Queensland.

Dr Krause says she inherited her horticulturalist father’s appreciation for nature and its offerings. She is currently volunteering for local environmental and land regeneration groups ClimateForce and Native Conifers Carbon Sink.

“When I returned to Cairns, I also started volunteering for Doctors for the Environment Australia. I really enjoyed this experience and met a great group of like-minded doctors and allied-health professionals,” she says. “I am a passionate environmentalist and like to get my hands dirty in the soil. It keeps me grounded and is a way of giving back to myself and the planet, so I can give to others.”

For Dr Krause, medicine and nature intersect, with the Cairns region proving the ideal playground to explore the holistic side of medicine. She collates and records the medicinal properties of native rainforest species as part of her work for ClimateForce’s “Tropical Regen” land restoration project, in the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree. The project involves working with local traditional owners to learn more about bush tucker and medicine.

But it’s not just the natural beauty of the tropical north that Dr Krause finds endearing. She says the close ties and integrity of the humans in this region continues to impress. “In places like Mossman and the Daintree, I’ve seen first-hand how stoic the locals are and just how strong the sense of community is here. It's particularly important to me, as it forms a sense of fulfilment, purpose and belonging, and that’s what I want in my career long-term,” she says.

“I could see myself living and working in the Mossman or wider Cape York Peninsula area, because I feel very deeply connected to this community and to give back through my profession would be extremely rewarding.”

Georgia with Doctors for the Environment
Georgia hiking at Devils Thumb
Left: Dr Krause with other members of the Doctors for the Environment (DEA) Right: Dr Krause trekking the Devil's Thumb Trail in the Daintree National Park. (Supplied by Dr Georgia Krause.)

Embrace your difference

When Dr Krause first started studying medicine, she became concerned with fitting an imaginary mold of what she thought a doctor should be. “I felt I was different and that maybe I didn’t fit or belong in this space. It was a true challenge for me while I found my place in medicine. It took me that six years to realise our point of difference is, in fact, invaluable and is the very thing that should be celebrated. We need different doctors for all different types of people.”

Dr Krause also encourages current and future students to embrace the friendships that bloom during medical school. “Lean on and give time to your peers because those friendships will last a lifetime,” she says. “I'm still connected with my very tight-knit group of university colleagues and whilst we've all gone on to work in different places, we're sharing stories, connecting and checking in on each other.”

She also advises students to find hobbies beyond medicine to maintain mental and social health throughout your study and career.

“I also recommend doing placements in unfamiliar places because it gives you valuable insights on how different healthcare systems operate. You never know what opportunity you might walk into; it could be a career-changing,” she says.

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