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Medicine a family affair for new intern Dr Roche

Published:  08 February 2021

Medicine has been the family business for Dr Shruti Roche, who is following in the footsteps of her gastroenterologist father and ophthalmologist mother by tackling a career in medicine.

Dr Roche is one of 75 intern doctors starting work at the Townsville University Hospital this week as the next generation of medical professionals.

Dr Roche said her affinity to becoming a doctor was a combination of her passion for people and growing up with parents in the medical profession.

“Naturally, having parents in medicine, I grew up witnessing a lot of what being a doctor entails,” she said.

“From the not so glamorous long days and on-call nights, to the success stories and thankful patients that make the long hours so worth it; I was always intrigued by this challenging yet rewarding career.”

“Listening to how passionate they were about their jobs and hearing about their experiences in medicine encouraged me to consider what a career as a doctor might look like for me.

“I have always enjoyed talking to and interacting with people, so the opportunity to create relationships and foster a trusting partnership with patients was a side of medicine that really appealed to me.

“I knew I wanted to pursue a career in which my actions would make a difference in the lives of those around me, especially the vulnerable.”

Dr Roche will begin her intern year doing a general medicine rotation where she will spend time in both the emergency department and on the medical wards.

“It’s quite daunting, because to be inducted into the medical profession is such a great honour and privilege that I want to ensure I live up to,” Dr Roche said.

“This exposure to a variety of clinical settings early on in my internship is something I’m looking forward to.

“I will have the opportunity to care for patients with a wide range of medical problems which will be useful for my learning and gaining confidence in managing common conditions.”

Dr Roche said Townsville University Hospital was a great place to begin her internship.

“I know I will never be short of guidance when I’m employed as part of a workforce who pride themselves on creating a culture of support and mentorship for their junior doctors,” she said.

“I am confident that my intern year will be one of huge personal and professional growth.”

Dr Roche said she was also excited to be working alongside her father at the hospital. “I no doubt have very big shoes to fill,” she said.

“I feel very fortunate to have both my parents close by to seek advice on the challenges I will undeniably face in my first year as a doctor, as well as sharing with them the highs of the job.”

Townsville Hospital and Health Service board chair Tony Mooney said after a difficult year, it was exciting to welcome doctors like Dr Roche to the health service.

“Medicine is a challenging and rewarding career and I’m sure this year’s cohort will achieve wonderful things in their first year,” he said.

“They will experience all areas of health and complete rural and remote rotations in areas like Ingham, Charters Towers and Palm Island.

“As North Queensland’s only tertiary referral hospital, these doctors will receive an unprecedented experience that will provide the foundations for them to grow into exceptional doctors.

“It is also great to see 50 per cent of the 75 interns are graduates of James Cook University, who are our partners in establishing Townsville as an international leader in tropical medicine.”

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