CareFlight calling on local doctors to join rescue service

QUEENSLAND’s iconic aeromedical rescue service is calling on local, national and New Zealand doctors to consider a six month tour with CareFlight.

The not-for-profit service has released a new video to capture the imagination of Australasian doctors looking to complete their medical training in frontline critical care.

“How many doctors can say they landed on the deck of a cargo vessel to retrieve an injured sailor or they were winched down into bushland to help a bushwalker,” CareFlight Clinical Director Doctor Tim Harraway said.


“And that’s just the RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter service.”

“CareFlight doctors are on board RFDS jets, our own medically equipped air ambulances and the entire Queensland Government air-medical fleet.”

Last year alone CareFlight doctors had 3,878 patient contacts, more than 10 patients a day.

Eight hundred and forty of these missions were critical at the scene emergencies and motor vehicle accidents which require the highest level of medical knowledge, skill and leadership.

Currently European doctors make up the bulk of CareFlight Doctors, combining a chance to see Australia with working for CareFlight.

“They are amazing and we love having them but it would be great if more Australian and New Zealand doctors came on board,” CareFlight Clinical Director Doctor Tim Harraway said.

“The expert skills gained working as a CareFlight pre-hospital intensive care specialist could then be channelled back into our hospitals closer to home.”

The six months with CareFlight counts towards both the doctors’ degrees and further teaching.

They undergo a rigorous two weeks of training in air-medical emergencies which CareFlight provides with its own specialised training academy.

This includes operational necessities for rotary and fixed wing aircraft, pre-hospital care, winching operations, disaster management, helicopter escape training and international retrieval.

Some doctors love the adventure so much that they opt to stay beyond their six month tour.

“Working for CareFlight is a unique experience,”  CareFlight Doctor Nathan Watkins said.

“It’s lifesaving and challenging work in the field with a small group of dedicated aeromedical specialists.

“The sky really is the limit.”

Anyone interested in the becoming a CareFlight Doctor can visit or email

Placements are in February and August every year.