New CareFlight doctors given their "wings"

Twenty doctors from around the globe will punch in for their first day as retrieval registrars on CareFlight aircraft across Queensland next week.

The new recruits will leave the hospital environment to become retrieval medicine registrars after completing a rigorous two weeks of training at CareFlight's Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Academy.

To prepare for their practice on the frontline, the new recruits were thrown in the deep end – literally – in February when they underwent helicopter underwater escape training, winch training, theory lessons and road crash scenarios to ensure they are familiar with all situations encountered out in the field.

"There are not many jobs where you are suspended from a winch cable from the side of a helicopter,” CareFlight Doctor Emmeline Finn said.

“The role of a CareFlight Doctor is a highly sought after position in the medical field. Doctors join us for six month rotations and this intake has seen doctors come all the way from the UK, Finland, Sweden and Greece to work at aeromedical bases around Queensland.”

CareFlight employs and trains more than 100 doctors, nurses and medical support staff to fly on board the iconic RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopters as well as the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS), CareFlight’s Air Ambulance Lear jets and the entire Queensland Government aeromedical fleet.

“Last year alone, CareFlight doctors treated more than 3,800 patients across Queensland,” Doctor Finn said.

“We’re proud to say that CareFlight is the only community helicopter provider in Queensland which provides its own doctors on board its own aircraft.”

The new intake of doctors will be stationed at aero-medical bases around Queensland including Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns and Rockhampton.