Grammar Graduate to Flying Doctor

Our Alumni are Grammar’s first ambassadors who, through their professional and personal achievements, are a valuable asset to our school.

We recently sat down with past student, Jessica Simpson (2016) who is soaring to new heights and graduating as a doctor at the end of the year. Jessica talks about life after Grammar and her recent time with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. We are grateful to have a strong alumni community and it is wonderful to celebrate their milestones and achievements. Congratulations, Jessica!

  1. What have you been up to since your time at Grammar?

I Graduated as School Caption in 2016 and commenced studying Medicine at James Cook University in 2017 in Townsville. I am now only 9 weeks away from graduating as a doctor, and over the last 6 years, I’ve filled my time with studying as well as undertaking a range of placements throughout rural and remote Queensland. 

  1. What is your current employment/ study status? What are your future endeavours?

I am currently a full-time medical student working as a tutor/babysitter, however, will be graduating as a doctor in December. I have accepted my first job as a junior Doctor in Toowoomba next year, where I hope to also spend some time in smaller surrounding areas of the Darling Downs such as Stanthorpe and Warwick. 

I hope to specialise in rural/retrieval medicine (such as the RFDS) and work as a doctor with a special interest in Obstetrics and Paediatrics; bringing medical care to those who need it most!

  1. Can you tell us about your time with the Royal Flying Doctor Service?

My time with the RFDS was extraordinary. From my birthplace in the isolated Shetland Islands to my experiences living in the Pilbara, limited access to medical services was highlighted to me from a young age. I was instantly magnetised towards a career prioritising the provision of healthcare to all; regardless of geographic location or culture. Aligning seamlessly with my desire to work in rural/retrieval medicine, I was delighted to be offered a placement alongside the RFDS in Charleville, south-west QLD.  We travelled all the way out to the NT and SA borders to reach rural communities and remote properties. The experience exposed me to a range of primary health care clinics as well as major rural emergencies. It was mesmerising to witness the locals lining the airstrip as the RFDS plane descended into the town. Residents were so grateful to receive visiting medical care. 

4. What are you most proud of?

Receiving the phone call from JCU to offer me a spot to study and become a doctor; something I’d hoped to achieve since I was a young child.

  1. What were the most positive aspects of your time at Grammar? What is your favourite memory?

The most positive aspects were the sense of collegiality amongst my cohort and the staff, with many connections extending beyond graduation. Other positive aspects included school tours to Malaysia for netball and East Timor, as well as involvement in extracurricular activities such as netball, water polo and choir. 

  1. What do you know now that you wish you knew during your time at Grammar?

I wish I knew that the experiences and knowledge you obtain from school truly does form a great foundation for university and the workforce. 

The importance of cherishing the guidance you have from the staff at school such as their willingness to mark drafts and conduct tutorials outside of allocated school hours; you will miss this in university!