Home Grown Heroes

We’d like to introduce you to some locals, people just like you that have gone on to a rewarding career in medicine.

Dr Mitchell Kraan

Mitch KraanCompleted Yr 12 at Traralgon Secondary College and his undergraduate Medical Degree at Monash University.

My name is Mitchell and I’m currently a second term GP Registrar practicing with the Trafalgar Medical Centre. I grew up in the Gippsland region, and am lucky enough to be back here practicing today.  While at school, I really enjoyed the study of biology and chemistry, but I dreaded the idea of working alone in a lab all day.  I liked community work, working in teams and getting to hear peoples’ stories, so studying Medicine was a natural choice for me. 

I studied at Traralgon College and went through the 5-year undergraduate program at Monash in Clayton.  This involved 2 years of on-campus learning (lectures and tutorials), and 3 years of in hospital practical training, at hospitals all across Melbourne and Gippsland.

Following that, I undertook internship and residency over 2 years at Latrobe Regional Hospital – working rurally gave me great general exposure in a range of areas, and a good grounding for my current GP study. I now work as a GP Registrar, seeing my own GP patients each day with the support of an experienced GP supervisor. I plan to sit my GP exams next year, with the hope of graduating as a fully-fledged GP in early 2018.

When not at work, I’m involved in a local Scout group, both participating and leading younger members. I perform on stage with a local theatre company, and play indoor soccer and netball – keeping a balance between work and the rest of my activities has helped me avoid burning out despite coming straight from high school into university and then into practice.

My GP work has many positives, I see a wide variety of different cases every day, and get to build strong bonds with patients of multiple visits. Working in the country means I can mix in some procedural and on-call work too.  The path through medicine certainly has its challenges, but this is definitely offset by the stimulating, challenging and rewarding work I now get to do day-to-day.

Dr Antoinette Mowbray

Dr Antoinette MowbrayCompleted Yr 12 via Distance Education and her undergraduate Medical Degree at the University of Newcastle.

‘I grew up on a small family hobby farm near Cann River, East Gippsland and completed secondary school by distance education, followed by completing my undergraduate medical training at the University of Newcastle.  The Rural Clinical School/University Department of Rural Health in Tamworth, northern NSW, caught my attention for the final two clinical years of university and I stayed on for my internship and residency.  Here I was able to arrange a perfect mix of rotations for preparation for ACRRM training, followed by advanced procedural obstetrics diploma training in Warragul. 

I then commenced as a basic general practice registrar in Trafalgar, continuing supervised obstetrics simultaneously in the form of an obstetrics bridging post.  In 2014, I moved to Bairnsdale, completed dual RACGP/ACRRM training and have continued as a fellowed GP obstetrician at Macleod Street Medical Centre and VMO GP obstetrician at Bairnsdale hospital. 

I thoroughly enjoy being back in Gippsland and would recommend the area as a fantastic opportunity for rural procedural medicine’.

©BarryGittins_018Dr Letitia Clark

Completed Yr 12 at Mirboo North High School and her undergraduate medical degree at Monash University.

‘I attended Mirboo North High School and decided I wanted to be a doctor at age 15.  My local GP and teachers supported and encouraged me and I was accepted to Monash for undergraduate MBBS.  After med school I did an intern year then spent 3 years in the UK doing some Anaesthetics, Emergency Medicine and travelling.

I completed GP training part time and now work as a rural GP in Trafalgar working 2 days a week in clinic with a day a week in Anaesthetics and a day of emergency medicine each week at Warragul hospital’.

Dr Andrew Roberts

Dr-Andrew-RobertsCompleted Year 12 at Lavalla Catholic College, Traralgon and his undergraduate medical degree at Monash University.

I grew up in Traralgon and stayed here until the end of high school, when I moved to Melbourne to go to medical school.  I trained through Monash Uni, and then meandered a little after I graduated.  I did various resident jobs in obstetrics, emergency and general medicine, travelled a bit, and studied part time to get my Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  This took me overseas to Papua New Guinea, where I worked for 2 years in some pretty remote places.  I learned how important it is to have good GPs, and so came back to Gippsland and did my General Practice training.  I now work as a GP in Heyfield and Headspace, and as a Medical Educator in the GP training programme.”

Dr Krystal Harrison

Completed Year 12 at Mirboo North Secondary College and her undergraduate medical degree at Monash University.

I grew up in Mirboo North and did all of my schooling there. I decided when I was about 15 that I was really interested in Medicine and studied VCE biology early. That was a big help because there are so many pre-requisites for medicine that need high scores, and I don’t know that I would have had room for it otherwise. I was initially offered a HECS place at Monash University Clayton (the five year undergraduate course), and then I had a last minute offer to switch into a Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Place. I accepted the scholarship because I never imagined working long term in a big city and I needed the money! I started University in 2004.

I spent my third year of Uni learning about General Medicine and Surgery in Sale and my fourth year across Sale, Traralgon, Leongatha and Korumburra, for Mental Health, GP, O&G and Paediatrics.

After university I went to Western Health for my internship because they seemed (and were) very supportive, and then moved across to Monash Health for 3 years of Basic Physician Training, the first part of becoming a medical specialist. I took six months off after I’d completed Basic Training because I was exhausted, and then luckily I was offered a position in Nephrology Advanced Training (which is all about kidneys). That took me to 3 different hospitals in 3 years.

I spent a lot of time wondering if I was making the right decisions about what kind of doctor I wanted to be, I was stuck between wanting to be a GP Obstetrician and a Physician, and then once I’d decided on being a physician, what type of Physician I wanted to be.  I think Nephrology chose me in the end, and I think most people end up choosing based on good mentors, some positive experiences with patients, as well as what we find interesting.  I had to make sure I chose something that would allow me to find work in a regional/rural area as well so I could fulfill my scholarship obligations. I need to work for at least six years continuously in a rural area, but I’d like to stay rural long term.

I became a fully qualified specialist only at the end of last year (2016), and so now, thirteen years later, I’ve returned to work as a Nephrologist at Latrobe Regional Hospital.