Meet Gympie Hospital's new Medical Superintendent

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Dr Alex Dunn - Gympie Hospital's new Medical Superintendent

Dr Alex Dunn is passionate about rural medicine, and fittingly, was in the first cohort of rural generalist trainees in Queensland. He’s also the current President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland and enjoys advocating for rural doctors and the communities they serve.

“Being a rural generalist is about developing the skill set to work across both primary care and hospital environments. In a country like Australia, it forms an essential part of the workforce to deliver the healthcare that the rural patients need and deserve.”

Dr Dunn grew up in Maryborough and studied medicine at the University of QLD. After university he worked at Nambour General Hospital for three years, including a year of rural anaesthetics training. Keen on an adventure he then headed up to Cape York taking on the role of a rural generalist, working in Cooktown and several nearby communities.

“I absolutely loved the work and the place. I was then approached to take on the role of the Medical Superintendent at Weipa, which is about 800 kilometres north of Cairns. I was the only permanent doctor there with a few locums, and basically had to start from scratch and build a service.

“Over time, we developed a great team. The work was really challenging but rewarding - ranging from delivering primary care in remote indigenous communities through to managing critically unwell patients for extended periods. We had a few crocodile attacks early on in my time there. I don't miss the crocodiles,” Dr Dunn said.

After seven years in Weipa, Dr Dunn and his wife relocated to Gympie, and have really settled into the community with their three young daughters.

“It is a great community, and people are really passionate about this place. We have the benefits of regional living but are close enough to the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane if we need to get there.

“Everyone who works at the hospital is really committed to the work that they do and the people that they do it for. I think we punch well above our weight in the care we provide, and we should be proud of what we achieve here,” Dr Dunn said.

Dr Dunn and his family live on a small property not far from Gympie, which they share with a lot of wildlife and are actively working to regenerate the area.

“I love it that I can go for a walk around my place, possibly see our resident platypus and then 15 minutes later be in at work,” Dr Dunn said.

“I have three young robust daughters who keep me busy between tutus and hockey sticks but when I get a chance, I am an absolute cricket tragic. Bairstow was out.”