News & events

Local Medicine graduates on track to become Coast doctors.

January 27, 2021
Date: January 27, 2021 – 10.20am
Where: Sunshine Coast Health Institute foyer, opposite Sunshine Coast University Hospital main entrance: 6 Doherty St, Birtinya.

Interview and photo opportunities will be available with:

  • New Doctor of Medicine students Joshua Cabucos and Madeline Foster
  • USC Professor John Lowe, Head, School of Health and Behavioural Sciences and Program Coordinator for Bachelor of Medical Science
  • Deputy Head of School of Medicine Sunshine Coast Associate Professor Jen Williams
  • Professor Helen Bartlett, Vice-Chancellor and President of USC

New Griffith University Doctor of Medicine student Joshua Cabucos moved to the Coast from Brisbane for his education three years ago and says landing a job as a graduate doctor at Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) “would be the ultimate dream”.

Joshua is one of 18 new Griffith University (GU) students to enter the Doctor of Medicine program as graduates of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s (USC) Bachelor of Medical Science.

The four-year GU program is the final step for the aspiring doctors, and part of a collaborative Sunshine Coast Health Institute (SCHI) vision for creating home-grown doctors to work on the Sunshine Coast.

“We are thrilled to be delivering on our mandate to educate local Sunshine Coast students, to become future Sunshine Coast doctors,” said Deputy Head of School of Medicine Sunshine Coast Associate Professor (Griffith University) Jen Williams, who is also Emergency Medicine Staff Specialist for Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.

“The School of Medicine Sunshine Coast is excited to welcome the first cohort of Year One medical students who are graduates of the USC’s Bachelor of Medical Science program,” A/Prof Williams said.

“Several students among this cohort are academic elite graduates of local Sunshine Coast high schools.

“Of the 48 new Year One students, 18 have entered the medical program from the USC Bachelor of Medical Science program.

“We would also like to welcome the remaining 30 students who come from all over Australia and from a wide variety of backgrounds.

“These students will be training in the state-of-the-art education facilities at Sunshine Coast Health Institute.

“The medical program on the Sunshine Coast has been in operation since January 2019, and 22 of our graduates from 2020 have commenced as interns in the SCHHS.

SCHHS Chief Executive Adjunct Professor Naomi Dwyer said: “We are very proud to be the health service partner for Griffith University USC and look forward to supporting these students through provision of excellent clinical experience and education.”

USC Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett said the students’ transition to postgraduate study was an important step towards strengthening our region’s future health workforce.

“Our community will benefit immensely through having these graduates trained right here to provide care and expertise to our growing region,” she said. “It is exciting to know that we have provided our students a direct pathway to study medicine on the Sunshine Coast through our partnership with Griffith University and the Sunshine Coast Health Institute.”

Joshua’s story

Joshua Cabucos always enjoyed science but was schooled by personal experience in its power to change lives.

As a young child he suffered pneumonia, and in his youth he needed knee surgeries after rugby injuries.

“It turns out I’ve spent quite a lot of time at hospitals – with the surgeries and my grandad passing away from cancer when he was quite young as well,” Joshua said. 

“Doctors provided a really strong base for me and I found a lot of support through them, so I always thought it would be cool to be a doctor one day.”

A Brisbane resident when he heard about the program, Joshua said the two-phase structure, all taught on the Sunshine Coast, seemed unusual to him at first. Facilitated through the Sunshine Coast Health Institute, graduates of USC’s three-year Bachelor of Medical Science degree have provisional direct entry into the final two-year Doctor of Medicine at Griffith University.

“The way it turned out was really awesome,” Joshua said.

“I really love the lifestyle change since moving up here. They’re trying to do this thing of educating doctors on the Coast, for the Coast, and I really like that.”

Landing a graduate position as a doctor at Sunshine Coast University Hospital would “be the ultimate dream”, Joshua said.

He is now 20 years old and could be applying for roles by age 22.

Joshua’s 18-year-old sister Sarah is also now in her second year of the same Bachelor of Medical Science program at USC. Joshua joked that this was great because now his parents visited them both on the Coast and Joshua didn’t have to drive to Brisbane to see his family.

“They all love it up here,” he said.