New job just what doctor ordered
By Nerida Blok
IT'S a good thing Dave Cannon likes flying.
Come January, the general practitioner with the Lismore Clinic will be doing plenty of it when he begins work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service's Queensland division.
Based in Cairns, Dr Cannon will carry out emergency services for an area covering the whole of Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands.
He'll also carry out clinics in remote areas in the Cape York area.
"It's been a dream of mine to join the Flying Doctor Service since medical school," said Dr Cannon, a New South Wales University graduate.
"I have always had the desire to help people in remote areas that find it hard to see a doctor."
Dr Cannon moved to the region from Sydney in 1992. He worked at the Lismore Base Hospital for four years before moving into general practice at the Lismore Clinic, where he has been for the past 11 years.
His wife, Nikki Boyce, is also a general practitioner at the Lismore Clinic. She and their three children, Hamish, 11, Angus, 9, and Chelsea, 7, will join Dr Cannon in Cairns.
"It will be good for a change. Nikki will be doing some clinics (for the RFDS) as well, but she doesn't like flying that much so it might be a bit hard," Dr Cannon laughed.
Whilst the job is only for a 12-month contract, Dr Cannon's move away from the area is likely to be felt by more than just his patients.
The local rugby union fraternity will miss his services as doctor for Far North Coast Rugby Union, as will the NSW Country Cockatoos.
And the Army Reserve based in East Lismore, where he has also worked as a doctor for 10 years, will feel his absence.
But with Hamish booked in to attend Woodlawn College in Lismore in 2009 where Dr Cannon attended for his two senior high schooling years he is adamant about returning to the region.
In the interim, however, Dr Cannon said he was looking forward to the opportunity of dealing with remote Aboriginal communities, carrying out adrenalin pumping emergency work and 'joining the Cairns Crocs' an over-35s rugby union competition run in Cairns.
"We've really enjoyed our time here. Lismore is serviced extremely well with excellent specialists and we look forward to coming back again in 12 months," he said.
Dr Cannon's Lismore Medical Clinic practice will be taken over by Dr Sukhdeep Bains. Dr Bains has previously worked at the Goonellabah Medical Clinic and at Lismore's Prema House.
"We're very happy our patients will have someone of his calibre to see," Dr Cannon said.