Our “veteran specialist” is keen to stay on board
To each their own, but that Charleville-Roma part of Queensland is a “special place” for Heart of Australia veteran medical specialist Dr Rob Perel.
Why? Simple really – his Mum grew up in Charleville, and he still has cousins in the district, and they like to get together.
So that makes it easy to enjoy whatever free time he has after working his rostered monthly Roma and Charleville Heart of Australia mobile specialist clinics.
And 45-year-old Dr Rob is very much a willing player in the whole story of bringing specialist medicine to country Queenslanders – although he confesses to doubts early in the piece.
That was, he explains, because he and Heart of Australia founder, Dr Rolf Gomes, worked side-by-side in their final specialist cardiology studies when, even then, Rolf was “always talking about using specialised trucks to take specialists to the bush”.
With a laugh in his voice, Dr Rob says: “Rolfie just never stopped talking about the idea, and as time went by, I realised I was never not going to go on the truck.”
Dr Rob is entitled to be called a “veteran” because, in 2014, he was on the first truck clinic out to … you guessed it – Roma and Charleville.
But before any of that, Dr Rob headed down a different path – into veterinary medicine. After graduating from UQ in Brisbane with his vet science degree, he spent a year working in Dubbo NSW, followed by two years as a locum vet in Hervey Bay, where he started his “big switch” – into cardiology studies.
With his new medical degree, he and his wife – who was working on business studies – decided to jump countries and chose Toronto in Canada for two years.
Enter the first of their (now) three children and with studies complete – including Rob’s as a Cardiac ElectroPhysiology Specialist (for work on implant devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators) – it was back home to Brisbane.
Rob’s current CV includes working in no fewer than six Brisbane hospitals and one in Ipswich – plus he’s looking forward his first clinics on HEART2, the new Heart of Australia 34-wheel B-Double which features extra consultation rooms for a range of specialist services, including gynaecology, neurology and endocrinology.
Regarding the Heart of Australia service, Dr Rob says: “There’s so much that can be achieved for patients in a day on the truck … speeding up diagnosis, saving patients so much travel …being able to put minds at rest with good health reports”.