Dr Celeste Barrington is a former elite athlete and registered nurse, and is one of 71 intern doctors who will join the next generation of medical professionals at Townsville University Hospital. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Dr Celeste Barrington is a former elite athlete and registered nurse, and is one of 71 intern doctors who will join the next generation of medical professionals at Townsville University Hospital. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Judo champ is kicking medical goals

SHE'S the elite Australian judo champion who spent a decade taking people down, but now Celeste Barrington is turning heads in the medical field to help others back up.

The 38 year old mother of one is one of 71 intern doctors joining the 2020 cohort at Townsville University Hospital.

Having represented her country twice at the Junior World Championships, and serving as team captain twice, Dr Barrington has been working as a nurse at the Hospital's paediatric intensive care unit while studying medicine.

It's a job she said she wanted to do since the age of four.

"When I was four it was the idea of helping people, I guess now if I reflect on it, to me, it's being able to help and care for others and you can contribute so much in so many areas," Dr Barrington said.

"For me I always wanted to be a doctor, nursing was a stepping stone that enabled me to get there.

"I'm hoping to just make the transition from nurse to doctor smoothly, obviously the two roles are quite different and to get as much advancement in my clinical skills as possible."

The internship intake is important process for Townsville University Hospital, which is the largest tertiary Hospital in Northern Australia, and serves as an opportunity for young local professionals to stay and work in Townsville.

Of the interns, 46 are from James Cook University while others studied at Griffith University, Bond University, University of Queensland, Monash University and three interns from international universities.

It's hoped the local intake will show future generations that they can stay, study and work in Townsville after High School.

 

Judo star turn nurse becomes Doctor
Judo star turn nurse becomes Doctor

 

Chair of Townsville Hospital Service Tony Mooney described it as a "great day".

"It's a very proud day for me as we welcome these new interns, and they've all had an incredible journey to get here," he said.

"I'm proud of the passion and commitment of these young professionals to work here and to look after people in need here in North Queensland.

"It's why we're on the journey to be the University Hospital, 46 of those 71 interns come from just over the road at JCU, they're trained here, they've had a background here, they're locals and we want to keep them here because that's our key to success moving forward."

The interns will experience numerous areas of the health industry, taking part in rural and remote rotations in areas including Richmond, Hughenden and Palm Island.

Dr Barrington said she hopes her training as an elite Australian athlete will help the transition to becoming a medical professional.

"The discipline and the determination you need to function as an elite athlete is transferable, and for me it definitely got me through a few tricky times in med school," she said.

"I think it developed a bit more resilience in me at an earlier phase."



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