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“I love working with my hands,” explains Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Jason McDarra, who, as a surgeon, fixes, remodels and reworks our lower limbs – a demanding job that requires precision and meticulous attention to detail. “Surgery is not broad brushes. It’s the minutiae that is important to deliver good patient outcomes.” Before relocating North with his wife Danielle [who was born in Townsville] and their three children, Dr McDarra was the Director of Orthopaedics at Ipswich Hospital, in addition to his private practice at Greenslopes and his post as Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland. Today, he runs his private practice in North Ward and operates at The Mater

Hospital. Dr McDarra has a keen interest in providing specialist Orthopaedic care to regional communities and has been instrumental in establishing an outreach clinic which sees him visit Ayr monthly. He is also a Senior Consultant at the Townsville Hospital. After studying Medicine at the University of Queensland, Dr McDarra completed his FRACS in Orthopaedic Surgery followed by a prestigious fellowship in lower limb arthroplasty with leading Australian surgeons Dr Ray Randle and Dr David Liu at the Gold Coast’s John Flynn Hospital. “Like most Fellows, I was mentored by international surgeons but here, in my own backyard, I really fine tuned my surgical skills.” “We’re bone carpenters – that’s really what we do,” laughs Jason, who prior to medicine completed an Economics Degree. He then travelled the world before commencing a trade in carpentry. “As a young bloke I wanted to travel and find my own way but with both my parents being doctors it was inevitable I would study medicine. I guess it was in my blood. “I genuinely enjoy medicine,” he admits, “and I quite literally grew up in the surgery in a bassinet under Mum’s desk. I then worked for Mum and Dad in their practices from the age of 10. I even went on house calls and nursing home visits with them back in the day.” “I love the technology of Orthopaedics, and the practical aspect to the field. I enjoy

the variety of my job – from the private elective surgery to emergency trauma cases. It’s certainly never dull. I’m grateful everyday that I get these opportunities to have such a positive impact on peoples’ lives. “One of the best things about North Queensland apart from the fantastic lifestyle is the warmth extended to my family and me by my patients. They have shared delicious Italian cuisine, Burdekin mud crabs – the biggest I have ever seen – and some of the best home brew imaginable. Now, I also know Gladdy, an outstanding home-baker of Christmas cakes.” Dr McDarra pauses. “I didn’t get the opportunity to develop relationships like this in Brisbane. As a family, these kinds of gestures make us feel connected to life here in the North. “Orthopaedics is one of those great specialties where there are good operations to solve bad problems. Yesterday I operated on a patient who was wheelchair bound. Following surgical intervention he’ll be able to walk out of the hospital; it’s humbling to be able to give a patient back their mobility after this type of major joint surgery.” Perhaps though, it’s the future of Orthopaedics that is most promising. “A passionate interest of mine is the incredible advances in technology in patient specific implants and prostheses. We’re already operating with computer navigation during surgery and the next step for Townsville is robot assisted surgery – it’s a remarkable technological age to be a part of.” “It’s very exciting where Orthopaedic surgery is heading.”

Dr Jason McDarra Orthopaedic Surgeon Level 5, Stanton Centre 31 Leichardt Street, North Ward 4401 5696

DUOMagazine April 2017


DUO Magazine April 2017  
DUO Magazine April 2017  

Every month, DUO captures the unique spirit of our region and grabs the attention of our community. We’ve been doing it for a decade, making...