Medical Superintendent and Practice Principle | Cloncurry
Dr Cameron Hoare is a Rural Generalist in Cloncurry, where he provides both primary care and secondary care. He has a passion for rural medical education and his love for rural generalism has fuelled his plans to grow and develop Cloncurry into a training site for Rural Generalists. Cameron has recently completed his RG fellowship training and we were honoured to celebrate with him at the RDAQ Conference in Cairns.
Cameron commenced medical school in 2008 in Townsville and had his first real exposure to rural generalism in his fourth year on placement in Cloncurry.
“Seeing the fantastic work done by the country GPs in Cloncurry was my first true experience in rural generalism. Dr Bryan Connor took me under his wing and taught me a fantastic amount ranging from contraceptive counselling, to starting ICU level care after a cardiac arrest whilst waiting for the retrievals team to arrive.
Another special Cloncurry mention is Dr Leonie Fromberg. When I arrived in town, she really helped me get exposure to both the medical experience and social experience. Seeing that you can make a huge difference in your patients’ lives, both short term and long term, as well as practicing at the top of your scope, all excited me. I came back for an extended placement in my 6th year of medicine, which further cemented my determination to be a quote, “kick ar$e” Rural Generalist”.
This positive rural experience as a medical student led Cameron to put down roots in Cloncurry and call it home. “Cloncurry is a very friendly town with a great social life, great activities, a great environment, and most of all great people. The workload is very interesting and the impact I can make in people’s lives on an individual level is amazing. My husband also really enjoys the town for its lifestyle and community, our dogs love it as well”.
Cameron is currently the Medical Superintendent at the Cloncurry Hospital, Practice Principle for Ramsay Street General Practice, and a primary supervisor for both ACRRM and RACGP. “My primary role, as I see it, is providing clinical care to Cloncurry Hospital in both primary care and secondary care, as well as supporting and enabling my team to grow and develop”.
His other hats include being a DAME aviation medical examiner, qualified mine and mineral medical examiner for Queensland, rail medical examiner, a provider of Medical Therapy of Prostatic Symptoms (MTOPS), and an authorised Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) practitioner. “I have successfully completed an advanced skill in emergency medicine and have completed extra training in mental health, medical education, as well as upskilling in point of care ultrasound and skin cancer surgery”.
“My day usually involves a teaching ward round, followed by either a day at the hospital, or general practice where I will usually be supervising a medical student, whilst seeing patients, as well as training my registrar. I frequently liaise with other organisations and stakeholders to grow and develop Cloncurry into a training site, with a focus on primary and secondary care. My hope over the next 5-10 years is to build Cloncurry up as a Rural Generalist training site, providing outreach to all the communities who require a primary care Rural Generalist, who are just as comfortable in the GP clinic as in the hospital”.
The passion Cameron has for local expansion of the Rural Generalist workforce stems from two areas. “Firstly, seeing what my role model Dr Bryan Connor could achieve with his support and development of junior doctors and medical students. And secondly, combating the perception that many in the large centres have about rural medicine, which has negatively impacted many a junior doctor’s drive to go rural”.
“To operate safely until you have built up an extended skillset, you need to be mentored and supported and trained to be safe. I am very passionate about providing a training centre which is supportive to those who come out here, in order to develop their skills”.
For junior doctors or medical students considering rural medicine, Cameron has some words of advice. “Don’t be afraid to go out rural. If it’s not for you, it’s not forever! The skills you will obtain rurally are invaluable. I strongly believe that rural doctors are made, not born. Multiple studies have shown that not only does a students’ rurality impact on their likelihood to go rural, but so does their experiences in rural towns. We know that by providing junior doctors and medical students enjoyable, educational, and safe learning experiences, they are more likely to return rurally. This is true for registrars also. Most of our registrars who trained in Cloncurry have stayed on post fellowship for a number of years”.
With all the amazing work Cameron is doing in Cloncurry, there is one main thing he wishes to instil in the next generation of Rural Generalists. “That primary care, whilst not as sexy or prime time TV, is still the bedrock of rural generalism”.