William in aircraft

Graphic: William in aircraft

Blending passions

Date published

02 Jan 2024

Self-described as an “emergency physician, fitness fanatic, marine fishkeeping enthusiast and #FOAMed explorer,” Dr William See arrived in Charleville in February 2023 to take up the position of Medical Officer at the RFDS base – and has taken the role and the community to his heart.

Will sitting in an aircraft

Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, William undertook his medical studies with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, graduating in 2007 and moved to Australia two years later.

While based at Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital in 2009, he had his first experience of rural and remote medicine in Mount Isa.

The strong clinical skills acquired during his training in Dublin proved invaluable, but for someone who had lived all his life in large cities, it was something of a culture shock to discover how vitally important healthcare is in remote areas, and how critical the RFDS plays a role in providing that care.

With that experience, as well as a life-long passion for aviation, it is not surprising that more than a decade later, William seized the opportunity to join the Charleville Base team.

Providing medical services to an area almost the size of the United Kingdom is incomprehensible to his friends in Ireland, and his colleagues in metropolitan areas of Australia envy the high level of care RFDS enables him to provide.

“As a Medical Officer, I feel privileged to help rural and remote communities,” he said.

“On RFDS flights, I have a maximum of two patients at any given time, so I can give them 100 per cent of my attention and reflect on the best possible treatment. That is incredibly rewarding. As well as that, I am part of a team with an amazing work ethic and Charleville is a lovely, welcoming community.”

William is still dedicated to maintaining his fitness and is a committed mentor to younger doctors through the free, open-access medical education community on Twitter (#FOAMed), but it’s his twin passions of aviation and marine fishkeeping that enable him to relax. 

He’s certainly the only RFDS Medical Officer who has both a flight simulator and a six-foot fish tank in his lounge room!