Cherbourg Trip 2018

The annual TROHPIQ Cherbourg Trip has always been very popular amongst students, and 2018 was no different. Over the weekend of the 26th and 27th of May, 34 medical and allied health students gathered to travel via bus to Wondai, Cherbourg and Goomeri to get a comprehensive tour of what life as a rural healthcare worker can offer.

The Saturday started with a community healthcare outreach stall at a local footy game in Wondai, featuring the ever popular Big Ted. The group then moved on to the Ration Shed Museum of Cherbourg to learn more about the history of the area and how this still impacts the Indigenous community living within in. Saturday night was spent in Goomeri, camping in the cold surrounded by new friends.

Sunday was kickstarted by a tour of Cherbourg Hospital and discussions with the local medical super intendant and pharmacist. The weekend finished with some free time at the local Goomeri Pumpkin Festival, featuring the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll.

(Thank you to Elise and Taylor, Cherbourg Trip Convenors for all their hard work organising this trip!)

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Allied Health Events

TROHPIQ’s Nursing and Allied Health team have already been hard at work in 2018 to bring you a range of fantastic events! From stalls at Market Day to the recent Bush Challenge Day, there’s been lots going on – and it’s only March! Check out these reviews from some of our Nursing and Allied Health Representatives.

Bush Challenge Day

TROHPIQ’s Bush Challenge Day was a great success! Participants enjoyed a morning of team building and communication activities- playdoh, cotton wool, rope and jars of water were all utilised to bring teams together. A barbeque lunch of sausages and veggie skewers replenished the crew before the main event- the bush health scenario. The two teams were challenged to consider an accident scenario from both a medical and allied health perspective, to identify and solve hypothetical problems, and work together to make clinical decisions in complex circumstances. Both teams were certainly challenged! A scavenger hunt around Wivenhoe Dam wrapped up the event before the weary squad headed back to Brisbane.


~ Magginis Connell, UQ Occupational Therapy Representative

Careers in Rural Health Evening

Our first Careers in Rural Evening consisted of speakers with various rural health experience. Attendees found it incredibly valuable and were able to get a sense of what life is like when working in rural communities; they all really embrace your presence and knowledge. The speakers were very friendly and welcomed questions from students and some were even encouraging TROHPIQ students to get involved in upcoming conferences!


~ Amelia Young, Allied Health Social Officer

TROHPIQ Skills Day 1 2018

On March 10, a group of over 90 TROHPIQ and Hope4Health members had the opportunity to join us for our first Skills Day of the year. In two action-packed half day sessions, attendees were given a chance to get some hands on experience and try out new and valuable skills that are used every day in rural health care.

Stations on offer included suturing, venepuncture, plaster casting, airway management and basic life support. We were fortunate enough to have an incredible group of doctors and senior medical students who very kindly donated their time and expertise to ensure that this was a fantastic learning experience for the students. There were also some excellent entries to our Instragram competition – congratulations to the winners, and thank you to MIPS and the Co-op bookshop for sponsoring us with prizes on the day.

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Overall, this was a fantastic start to our Skills Day program and we hope that TROHPIQ members will continue to enjoy Skills Day 2 & 3 later in the year!

~ Belinda, Skills Day Convenor

(Thank you to Belinda Burgess, Grace Boyd and Patrice Brennan for all their hard work organising this event).

Congratulations to BUSHkids Chairman Dr Neil Bartels

On behalf of the TROHPIQ team we would like to congratulate Dr Neil Bartels, Chairman of BUSHkids, who has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2018 Australia Day Honours List for his service to medicine in rural and regional areas. TROHPIQ is a proud supporter of BUSHkids, a not for profit organisation providing primary health care to children and their families in rural Queensland communities.

Statement from BUSHkids:
The award recognises his many decades of commitment to the health of children, families and communities across rural and regional Queensland, a calling nurtured early in Neil’s medical studies by his father Reg Bartels, Chair of the Bush Children’s Health Scheme Council at the time and himself a recipient of the OAM in 1984.

“This is a tremendous honour not only for me, but for my wife Annette and my family,” said Dr Bartels. “It also reflects the work of a dedicated team of great Queenslanders and the many people who have gone before us and laid solid foundations.”

Reg Bartels OAM had joined the Bush Children’s Council in a voluntary role in 1966 and served for more than 25 years. Shortly after his father’s death in May 1991, Dr Neil Bartels followed in his footsteps and joined the Council where, more than 25 years later – and after 11 years as its Chair – he has been similarly recognised for his volunteer efforts.

Neil was inspired by his father’s work with BUSHkids whilst studying medicine. After graduating from The University of Queensland, Neil married Annette, a primary school teacher, and they moved to regional Queensland when Neil started work as Medical Superintendent in Dysart. After the birth of the first of their five children, the family relocated to Brisbane when Neil was appointed Paediatric Registrar of the Royal Children’s Hospital. Later opening his own medical practice on the Gold Coast, Neil maintained his “burning desire” to continue to serve rural children and families across Queensland.

Please click here to read the full media release.

BUSHkids Chairman Dr Neil Bartels at the TROHPIQ Bowties and Beauties Charity Gala. This is an annual event run by TROHPIQ to raise money for BUSHkids.


TREES Program 2017

Over the last few months, a group of 28 first year medical students chose to complete their first year medical observership in a rural location. The TROHPIQ Rural Elective Experience Scholarship is a program run by the UQ Rural Clinical School in conjunction with TROHPIQ. TREES provides students with the opportunity to experience regional and rural Queensland, gain fantastic hands-on learning experiences, and meet some awe-inspiring rural practitioners.

Reports from students who participated in the program have been overwhelmingly positive. There’s no doubt that there were plenty of opportunities for students to practice and develop their clinical skills. Full reports from students are now available via this link and some excerpts are included below. Congratulations to all students on completing their first medical placement and for choosing the challenging but rewarding environment of a rural location.

Connor Dorval – Roma Hospital

“Aside from having met so many wonderful people, by far the best part of coming to Roma is the way the students are integrated into the health care team, even as a first year with very little clinical experience. What will you be doing day to day? Much of your time is spent in the Emergency Department, where you are not only allowed but encouraged to review patients that have been triaged. You’ll take histories, perform physical exams, form a provisional diagnosis, then handover to a doctor – a skill in and of itself. You can then follow that patient’s case through to the end, working through any clinical reasoning, imaging, and test results with the doctor.

The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to volunteer for everything, even if it seems scary. Introduce yourself to every doctor and nurse and give them a heads-up if you have any special interests.”

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Connor Dorval completed his TREES placement at Roma Hospital. “The highlight of my placement was the chance to fly with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and a Flying Surgeon to Cunnamulla and Charleville.

Belinda Burgess – Kingaroy Hospital 2017

“During my TREES placement, I have had the opportunity to experience the emergency department, OBS & GYN, the medical/surgical ward and theatre lists. Some highlights of my time here include suturing lots of hands and fingers in ED, learning how to cannulate and intubate with the anaesthetist in theatre, scrubbing in to a hernia repair, attending birth suite with the midwives and assisting an emergency Caesarian.

I am very much indebted to the medical, nursing and midwifery staff here at Kingaroy. From day 1, everybody has gone out of their way to welcome us to the team and encourage us to actively participate in patient care. All of the staff, and particularly the senior medical officers, have demonstrated a passion and aptitude for medical education that has ensured that my time here has been a fruitful learning experience.”

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Thank you to the UQ Rural Clinical School and the health professionals that worked to make this such a fantastic experience for all the students involved.