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Dr Brett Quabba - 2012 graduate


Dr Brett Quabba - 2012 graduate

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2012 graduate Dr Brett Quabba tells of the difference the AMA Queensland Foundation bursary made for him.

I grew up on the family sugar cane farm at Ingham in far north Queensland. Through high school and the first couple of years of medical studies, I worked during holidays as a farmhand and fruit picker. But as the course stepped up, and we spent more time in clinical settings, I couldn’t work enough to save what I needed through the uni year. The varying hours — and rural placements — made it really hard to coordinate part-time work during semester.

When I qualified for the AMA Queensland Foundation’s bursary, it was there to kickstart my study year, with textbook purchases, and helped pay my rent. Finances and budgeting are major stressors for university students. The Foundation’s assistance reduced this considerably. Personally I found comfort in knowing that each year I was lucky enough to receive the bursary, and thus had a degree of financial security. 

I’m now a Junior House Officer with Gold Coast Hospital and Health Services and was fortunate enough to secure a position on their GP training program for 2014. I can honestly look back on my intern year and say that, although it was stressful at times and adjusting to full-time working life was a little difficult, it has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. It’s now time to step up, to take a little more responsibility and control.

During my uni studies, I spent eight weeks on Thursday Island and was really inspired by the capabilities of the doctors there. In such a remote clinical setting, they need very broad skills.  That’s what I’ll be working to achieve.

I see my future for some years in regional hospitals, getting as much broad medical experience as possible before one day setting up as a GP, somewhere regional.