In 2018 Renee was awarded Rural Doctor of the Year, in 2019 she won Clinical Educator of the Year, and in 2022 she received JCU’s College of Medicine and Dentistry Outstanding Alumni award.
But Renee’s journey to becoming a doctor was not all smooth sailing. The first two times she applied for JCU’s Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery she was unsuccessful in securing a spot. Instead, Renee began university doing a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences.
“I did two years of biomed at JCU and during that time my passion for medicine only grew,” she says. “Although I loved my immunology and biochemistry subjects, and I loved the medical laboratory and learning about diseases, I knew that I wanted to work with the patient and not the specimen.”
In 2003 Renee was accepted into JCU’s Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. After graduating five years later, Renee completed her post-graduate years in Cairns.
“During my post-graduate year two, in the lead up to starting my Advanced Skills Training (AST) in obstetrics and gynaecology, I was uncertain if this was the AST I wanted to complete. At the time there was a workforce shortage in Babinda. So, my husband and I decided to make the move there with the plan to fill that shortage for 12 months, deferring my O&G AST,” Renee says.
“6 months in I was really happy with the medicine I was doing, and I felt fulfilled in my role. I had also become one of two stable doctors in the town. So, I changed my AST to population health, which I could complete in Babinda, and decided to stay and ensure continuity of care within this community.”
Renee has been in Babinda ever since. During that time, she has advanced her career by gaining new skills and continuing to take up any opportunities available to her.
“Since coming to Babinda I’ve completed an AST in emergency medicine, undertaken the Queensland Health Executive Leadership Program, and completed an Associate Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (AFRACMA),” she says.
Renee’s achievements also include supervising JCU medical students undertaking placements, organising Babinda Hospital’s inaugural Umbrella Ball, and having a family of three with her husband Nathan.