10 December 2012

The University of Queensland School of Medicine and the University's Ipswich Campus will host a special cocktail reception in honour of the inaugural graduates from the Ipswich Medicine program tomorrow, Tuesday, December 11.

Thirty-eight new doctors will graduate this week from the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery) program located at Ipswich, which commenced in January 2009.

UQ Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Rix remembers the discussions that were held about the concept of establishing a teaching program for the MBBS at Ipswich and the ideas that were held by many about whether this was achievable.

“The enthusiasm of all the staff involved was not only infectious but effective, and the results have proven the worth of the initial proposal,” Professor Rix said.

Head of the MBBS Program Ipswich Professor Geoff Mitchell said it had been his privilege to be part of the development that brought medicine training to UQ Ipswich.

“This group of students has been a phenomenal first class,” he said.

“We are very proud of their achievements, both in graduating as doctors, and being the pioneer class.

“They have done themselves and UQ Ipswich proud.”

The campus has seen many new facilities and renovations during the past four years to ensure the students have access to the best available, and the result has proven to be outstanding.

Ms Michelle Craigie and Mr Robert Illingworth are just two of the successful graduands.

Both Michelle and Robert went to high school in Ipswich and were excited to realise they could return to Ipswich to study medicine at UQ.

Ms Craigie had originally applied for UQ's undergraduate dual degree in medicine straight from school.

Unfortunately, she received a letter stating her application was not successful.

“So I went the long way round," she said.

"I went into a dual degree Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Science at UQ and was then granted special consideration to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in 2008 so that I could accept an offer from UQ for a position in MBBS.

“When I was given the opportunity to study at Ipswich I jumped on the opportunity.

“The small class size that Ipswich had to offer for MBBS was a huge tick for me, not to mention being closer to home.

“Ipswich was also an area of need for doctors so it was a great opportunity to study and go on to practice in a community that had supported you through your training.

“My actual experience at Ipswich UQ was even better than I thought it would be,” she said.

Mr Illingworth liked the idea of being in the first medical cohort from Ipswich.

“I'd heard rumors that they would be starting the MBBS program there and it was a pretty easy choice for me to stay in Ipswich,” he said.

“I have loved the med course at Ipswich.

“The staff were excellent and since we started out with such a small group we really bonded and got a more personal connection, plus the library here is phenomenal.”

While neither Ms Craigie or Mr Illingworth have decided on their speciality, both will be remaining in Ipswich next year as interns and look forward to the future, whatever it might hold.

Celebrations will commence with the UQ School of Medicine cocktail reception in honour of the inaugural graduates of the Ipswich MBBS program.

Students, academic and profession staff and special guests will reflect on the past for four years and their time together, before looking towards the exciting future these 38 doctors will have.

The graduating class will recite the Hippocratic Oath marking entry into the medical profession as physicians at their official graduation on Saturday 15 December, at The University of Queensland St Lucia campus.

Jessica Freiberg, Ipswich Marketing & Development Manager
3381 1068, 0421 587 278 or j.freiberg@uq.edu.au

Brian Mallon, Marketing & Communications Officer, School of
3365 5254, 040 362 1109 or b.mallon@uq.edu.au