Meet UQRCS Hervey Bay Director Dr Rudi Prasad

28 Jun 2021
Students Fraser Labrom (standing), Owen Sulistio (sitting) with Dr Rudi Prasad

Last week, Dr Rudi Prasad handed out warm smiles to students arriving in the region for their Rural and Remote placements; as the feeling of being a newbie is still fresh in his mind after commencing in the Director position with The University of Queensland Rural Clinical School (UQRCS) Hervey Bay earlier this year. 

Dr Prasad is used to being a newbie, having lived on three continents before his fifteenth birthday and later taking on a variety of postings around Queensland and the Torres Strait.

Growing up in Canada, there was never any other career for Dr Prasad than being a doctor.

“I remember visiting our local GP when I was 4 or 5 and being completely fascinated by the experience and from then on; I just wanted to be a doctor,” he said.

Fast forward ten years, Dr Prasad found himself navigating a new life in Australia, in the throes of teenage life and grappling with his Indian-Fijian culture.

“We had just moved to Australia; so it was a big culture shock, and I found myself trying to blend everything together whilst still aspiring to become a doctor,” he said.

Dr Prasad went on to study science and worked as a cardiac scientist before he felt mature and dedicated enough to pursue medicine with UQ.

One of his most memorable experiences occurred on his Rural and Remote placement in Theodore with the now Mayne Academy of Rural and Remote Medicine Head, Associate Professor Bruce Chater.

“On this one particular day we were asked to take part in the filming of a mock emergency scenario for a mining training video.

“We were taken underground, filmed the repatriation including the trip to the hospital in an ambulance, and then on the way home; got called into hospital to help with a birth.

“It was an exhausting and exhilarating 24 hours; but it made me realise that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.

On the Fraser Coast, paediatrics and trauma forms part of his core work, however Dr Prasad believes that regional medicine has helped him grow faster professionally, then if he had have stayed in a major city.

Dr Prasad commenced in the Director position in January and has been excited by the mix of management, education and collaboration with students, staff and external contacts from the outset.

“Taking this position gives me a chance to learn how to manage a unit, re-engage with medical students and bring together Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service and UQRCS Hervey Bay,” he said.

Dr Prasad shares his time as the Director of UQRCS Hervey Bay and as Staff Specialist in Emergency Medicine at the Hervey Bay Hospital and Health Service.