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Amazing doctors that call the Gold Coast home

June 20, 2017

The Gold Coast is home to some amazing doctors who are transforming lives on a daily basis. Get to know them here…

Cutting-edge technology drives city’s medico

Only four women in Australia are interventional neurovascular specialists, trained to perform risky but lifesaving procedures on the brain, and the Gold Coast is honoured to be home to one of them.

Doctor Laetitia de Villiers says while the stakes were high, with people’s lives at risk, it was exciting to be using cutting edge technology. With incredible precision she’s able to help stroke patients by removing large blood clots from inside the brain without operating through the skull.

Of course it’s not as simple as it sounds, with Dr de Villiers and colleague Dr Hal Rice often working together using high-tech computer imaging and sophisticated clot-removing devices to access blood vessels on the brain through the femoral artery.

The medical duo, who take turns being on-call at Gold Coast University Hospital (located within the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct), also use similar endovascular techniques to treat life-threatening brain aneurysms and vascular malformations in the brain.

“There are so many patients engrained in my mind. Those that are younger you remember more, because the life-saving procedures make a bigger impact, they now have so much of their lives ahead of them,” she says.

Her impressive and long list of medical interests and qualifications includes an advanced specialist fellowship in Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology at the world famous Mt Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Read the full story on Doctor Laetitia de Villiers.

|Watch the parade of floats

Gold Coast University Hospital

Dr de Villiers exploring glaciers in Antarctica

The man behind the medicine: Dr Hal Rice

It’s no exaggeration to say that Gold Coast doctor Hal Rice is responsible for helping to change the lives of nearly 500,000 people every year. Although his modesty may mean he might not see it this way.

Dr Rice is one of just seven interventional neurovascular specialists in Queensland who use top notch medical imaging and computer software to save lives or improve stroke victims’ quality of life.

But it’s not just his work in the operation theatre that saves lives; he does this indirectly through his business Qscan Radiology Clinics. Dr Rice is one of the city’s largest private employers with about 320 staff across 22 practices in south east Queensland. Across the board the clinics provide services to 430,000 people every year.

His clinics provide everyday Gold Coasters with the latest in cutting-edge diagnostic equipment to detect diseases as early as possible so as to give patients early treatment options.

As for how he has fun, well it’s mixed with business and is usually in the form of overseas travel. He lectures and trains other doctors, usually in Asian countries, to help teach them to perform interventional neurovascular procedures.

He also hosts international medical professionals and takes them to the Gold Coast University Hospital and teaches them step-by-step. Dr Rice says as well as lifting the profile of the city, sharing knowledge is ‘the Gold Coast giving back to the world’.

“Lots of young cities take, take, take and so it’s a privilege to be able to give back to the world,” he says.

Read the full story on Doctor Hal Rice.


Dr Hal Rice


Medico revolutionising the health industry

From waiting lists to waiting rooms, health care often involves waiting. With the arrival of Gold Coast-based startup Docto, these delays could be reduced to Internet loading times.

Dr Jon Field, Director of Intensive Care at Gold Coast University Hospital, is part of the team of medical professionals bringing specialist care online through Docto.

Field describes Docto as a parallel of a hospital environment, in which a patient is welcomed and then seen by an appropriate specialist, who is part of a collaborative team. The key difference is that this process can now occur online.

“We hand pick our doctors; they’re not just anybody,” says Field, adding that the key focus was on recruiting specialists who were customer-focused, affable, and experienced.

Already, the program has grown to include approximately 40 specialists whose services might otherwise be hard to access, including an orthopaedic surgeon, dermatologist, cardiologist and neurologist.

As Field reflected on the project, it was clear that he was proud of his team’s progress.

“We’re making doctors accessible like they’ve never been before.”

Read the full story on Doctor Jon Field.

Qualified clinicians undertake cutting edge video ear health checks as well as tune-ups for existing hearing aid devices as a gift to pensioners.

Director of Intensive Care at Gold Coast University Hospital

Dr Jon Field, Director of Intensive Care at Gold Coast University Hospital

Eye specialist embracing cutting edge technology

She’s one of the first ophthalmologists on the Gold Coast to embrace the cutting edge technology of intense pulse light (IPL) therapy to help dry eye sufferers. But you won’t find Dr Cathryn Edrich singing it from the rooftops.

Instead this specialist will be steadfastly serving her patients at See View Eye Specialist Clinic; the solo practice she set up at John Flynn Hospital in Tugun six years ago. Dr Edrich says she’s dedicated to incorporating new ideas and innovations into her practice; the most recent of this is the use of IPL to help dry eye sufferers.

“We live in a very exciting era in regards to emerging new technologies. I am always keen that my practice will continue to embrace the most clinically relevant developments as they come along, to the benefit of patients, by enabling the specialist to offer more.”

But Dr Edrich says it’s not just a love of eye medicine and the technical challenges of delicate microsurgery that she loves about her profession. It’s working with patients to achieve individualised and personalised treatment plans.

“No two days are ever the same and the variety of eye conditions and personalities is always interesting and stimulating,” she says.

Read the full story on Dr Cathryn Edrich.

Dr Cathryn Edrich carrying out laser for diabetes

Dr Theresa Arnold

Haan Health Medical Centre

Meet the Gold Coast doctor transforming lives

Dr Theresa Arnold helps to transform the lives of her patients, whether they’re a cancer survivor, a burns victim or someone who has suffered a catastrophic life-changing event.

A pioneer in her field of medical aesthetics, Dr Arnold says she knew early in her career that she wanted to focus on scaring and skin pigmentation conditions.

Born in Queensland, raised in Papua New Guinea and the Gold Coast, she studied medicine in Sydney and then moved to California to undertake specialist training. The US is considered home to the latest in cutting-edge techniques in medical pigmentation and surgical scarring.

She opened her first Dermink clinic in San Francisco in 2008 followed by a second one in Palo Alto and a third in London. Fortunately for Gold Coasters, in February this year she opened a Dermink clinic at Haan Health in Broadbeach. She says so far the response has been extremely positive.

Dr Arnold has performed more than 10,000 procedures across her clinics, permanently camouflaging cosmetic and other surgical or trauma scars. She says using permanent medical grade pigments, individually blended and colour matched to each patient’s skin, scars and other skin imperfections could be made permanently invisible.

“The patients you meet generally aren’t dying as they may be in other fields such as oncology or other areas of medicine. But people are always happy to see you because you’re helping them to not only look better, but feel better,” she says.

“Knowing you are making a difference to someone’s day-to-day life is really a feeling you really can’t describe,” says Dr Arnold.

Read the full story on Doctor Theresa Arnold.