Doctor Jacob's story a page turner

When proud First Nations man Jacob Page left high school at the age of 15, he could not have imagined the winding professional journey that lay in wait.

Following “a year or two of odd jobs”, Mr Page completed a three-year metal fabrication apprenticeship in 2012, before changing tack once more to begin an Exercise Science degree at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus in 2016.

Three years later, he set out on a new mission to become a doctor and this month arrived at West Moreton Health with that goal proudly accomplished.

Now 31, Mr Page is one of 38 new junior doctors who have joined West Moreton Health in 2024, ready to begin his rounds in Ipswich Hospital’s cardiology unit on January 22.Junior doctor Jacob Page

The Ipswich resident said his First Nations heritage, drawn from his mother’s side of the family, had fuelled his desire for a career in medicine.

“I’m passionate about improving health for Aboriginal people and understanding the inequalities they have in health and other socioeconomic factors. It’s a big driving force for me to work in that space,” the Adelaide-born, Brisbane-raised graduate said.

“Even in my original goals of physiotherapy, I was always planning to work for the Aboriginal population and then I’ve carried that through to medicine as well.

“I’m aware there’s a high percentage of First Nations people living here (in Ipswich) and … I thought would be a good place to do my junior doctor years.

“I’ve got Aboriginal heritage on my mum’s side. Our mob is called Pitjantjatjara and Kokatha.

“We’ve been able to trace our family tree all the way back to my great-great-great grandma. We know in great detail the stories from generations after that as well.”

Mr Page’s “unique path to medicine” will have another interesting sidenote when his wife gives birth to their first child at Ipswich Hospital in mid-March.

“I’ll be there and just be a watchful eye,” he said with a laugh.

“That’s obviously exciting and I’m also excited to start my first rotation in cardiology. I definitely haven’t taken the normal route to medicine, having not finished high school.

“But I’ve always had a personal interest in learning about disease and physiology and the human body. I pursued medicine because I was more interested in the pathophysiology subjects of my (undergraduate degree in Exercise Science).

“And then most importantly, I have that passion for indigenous health and wanted to work in that space.”