New rural doctor after three-year search

A new Director of Clinical Services started work at Beaudesert Hospital this month, almost three years after the previous director left. 

Beaudesert Hospital has a new clinical director. Photo: John Stephen Britten

Dr Shane Brun, recently Director of Medical Education and Clinical Training at the Gold Coast University Hospital, has been appointed to the senior role. He has extensive leadership experience in senior medical roles, including as a reservist with the rank of Group Captain in the Australian Air Force. He has also worked briefly at Beaudesert Hospital in the past, as a locum practitioner.

In addition to his generalist qualifications, Dr Brun is also a specialist Sports Physician in the United Kingdom. His expertise in that field, as well as his 13 years as a nurse before training in medicine, will add to the already diverse skills of Beaudesert’s medical workforce. 

Jacquie Smith, Beaudesert Hospital’s Nursing and Midwifery Director and Facility Manager, said finding the right Rural Generalist doctor for the job had been a long and difficult search. According to the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, a Rural Generalist is a General Practitioner who has specific expertise in providing medical care for rural and remote or isolated communities. 

“It hasn’t been the easiest of processes by a long shot, to be honest,” Ms Smith said. “We were looking for a certain skill set. We didn’t feel that Beaudesert was a training ground for an early-career or novice medical leader.”  

Seeking an experienced head of hospital with the broad skill set that rural generalist medicine requires took multiple attempts. “We’ve had five rounds of advertising and three rounds of interviews,” Ms Smith said. “We’ve been unsuccessful … until appointing Shane.”

Dr Brun said his priorities at Beaudesert Hospital would start with familiarisation.  

“I think the priorities are fact-finding to start with, to speak with the staff, speak with the community and the key stakeholders, and try to align their priorities with what the health needs are of the community, as well as what government expects and what government will allow as far as budgetary constraints,” he said.

“My overall experience in working in health systems in various roles will help me settle in.”

Ms Smith said she was looking forward to having strong medical leadership back in-house at Beaudesert Hospital. “I’ll be in partnership again with an excellent Director of Clinical Services,” she said. “We’ll be able to tie up our good governance processes, address the service priorities, and review the medical workforce.”

Dr Brun will be responsible for medical staffing and all aspects of practical patient care at the 28-bed rural facility. He will also take a lead role in planning for the future. 


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