News & events

Medical milestone: Sunshine Coast’s first cohort of student doctors graduate from Griffith University

Professor Ted Weaver, Graduate Dr Elizabeth English, Graduate Dr Isaac Sansome, SCHI Operations Manager Clare Hanlon
December 15, 2022

The inaugural cohort of Griffith University’s Doctor of Medicine (MD) program at the Sunshine Coast Health Institute (SCHI) are now ready for the next chapter of their career after graduating this week.

The 46 students are the first group of graduates who both started and have now completed their MD studies on the Sunshine Coast through SCHI.

Clinical Sub-Dean Griffith University School of Medicine and Dentistry Sunshine Coast Professor Ted Weaver said while they were taught and trained at various Sunshine Coast Health facilities, they sat the same examinations and assessment as the students at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus.

“The results obtained by our students have been excellent. This stands as a testimony to the dedication and diligence of the students, and the extraordinary commitment to the students displayed by their pre-clinical and clinical teachers within the School of Medicine and Dentistry at SCUH and other SCHHS facilities,” Professor Weaver said.

Professor Weaver said studying at SCHI contributed positively to the students’ overall experience.

“SCHI has state of the art simulation suites, enabling the students to be trained in various procedural, teamwork, communication and other skills they will need as medical practitioners,” he said.

“All of the teachers in the GU Doctor of Medicine Program have been impressed with the calibre of students we have had the privilege to teach, and all have remarked that the future of medicine is in good hands.

SCHI Board Chair Professor David Wilkinson said the first cohort is always special, and he acknowledged them as pathfinders and pioneers.

“It is vital that we train doctors in settings and facilities that are relevant to clinical practice, and relevant to community needs, and the facilities here on the Sunshine Coast are truly outstanding,” Professor Wilkinson said.

“I have met several current students in various settings in and around the hospital campus, and I consistently hear positive feedback about experiences here, and we thank them for their contributions to the ecosystem.”

25 of the graduating MD cohort will be Interns within the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service next year.

One of those is local Isaac Sansome who said he has wanted to be a doctor since high school and being able to follow that dream on the Sunshine Coast has been extremely beneficial.

“I definitely did not think it was possible. When I first began my science degree, I remember asking people if they thought there would be a medical school on the Sunshine Coast soon, and all of them said no. I was actually accepted into a medical school in NSW the year before starting on the Sunshine Coast but for many reasons and after much thought I turned this offer down. 3 months later I found out the Sunshine Coast was starting a medical school from first year through to fourth year, so I applied as soon as I could and now we are here,” he said.

“I was very happy to find out that I would be interning locally. My family and friends are on the Sunshine Coast, and I’ll also be a new Dad very soon! So, to have the support of my family in this season will be a big blessing to my wife and I.”

SCHI is a partnership between the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, the University of the Sunshine Coast, TAFE Queensland and Griffith University, with state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities located within the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.