Pharmacy to medicine: Bundy local studying hard in hometown

8 Dec 2020
UQ Year 1 medical student Geoffrey Mallet
UQ Year 1 medical student Geoffrey Mallet

For many students studying medicine with The University of Queensland (UQ), their First Year Observership opportunity takes them on a two week adventure in an unfamiliar setting, but local Bundy boy, Geoffrey Mallet has instead returned home.

His name should ring a bell; Geoffrey was a Kalkie kid, a Shalom student and has spent the last 15 years caring for the Bundaberg community as a pharmacist.

Last year, whilst undertaking a postgraduate diploma in Clinical Pharmacy with UQ, his calling came to study medicine.  

“As a pharmacist I have noted the lack of medical doctors in our town when I try to refer patients for care; so the whole reason I have decided to study medicine is to give back to my community,” he said.

Geoffrey enrolled in UQ’s four year Doctor of Medicine program and is getting his first real exposure to the practice of medicine in a variety of settings through UQ’s First Year Observership.

Over the years, Geoffrey has collected a suitcase of stories that support the push for experienced healthcare professionals in rural settings.

“During the 2013 Bundaberg floods, my workplace flooded, the aged care facility we serviced flooded and my own home flooded.

“I remember driving back and forth to the airport to organize medications for the residents of the home – they had been air lifted from their usual residence.

“It was a challenging time for me but emerging on the other side was a testament to the resilience of the community – and as a future rural doctor it is that community spirit that sets rural medicine apart.

“I am passionate about my career in rural medicine as I believe everyone should have access to high quality healthcare.

Geoffrey is one of eight Year 1 medical students currently undertaking their two week First Year Observership at UQ Rural Clinical School Bundaberg.