Community & Business

8 June, 2024

Doctor’s insights focus of new book

DOCUMENTING her way through junior medical training, Malanda GP Hannah Royster has gone on to self-publish a fictional memoir.

Malanda Dr Hannah Royster has published a book that centres around a junior doctor going through training.
Malanda Dr Hannah Royster has published a book that centres around a junior doctor going through training.

“In Turn” follows the story of a junior doctor going through her training, and the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the job. 

Dr Royster said the book shared personal insights into the life of being a junior doctor, but in a fictional way. 

With diary notes from her everyday life whilst training, Dr Royster said she took a year off her studies to write the book following the suicide of a colleague - also a junior doctor. 

“I’m glad I brought it to completion to show something for that time off,” Dr Royster said. 

Whilst it’s heavily fictionalised to protect not only herself but other colleagues, Dr Royster suffered some traumatic experiences as a junior doctor and wanted to share this with the wider community. 

She said while being a doctor was perceived as having a good salary, helping people and having a good life, the reality was far from that. 

“There’s a lot of pressure to conform so you don’t stand out. The culture doesn’t really support individuality.

“It’s getting better though.”

For Dr Royster, she found writing to be therapeutic, and a way she could express herself, get lost in her characters and tell a story - it stemmed from an early age. 

She said her parents questioned her on the publication of this book and were worried about it impacting on her career. 

“I was worried I would get a lot of judgement from a lot of people but I thought if I could help one person who is working as a junior doctor in a hospital, then I have done my job,” she said. 

Published in January 2023, Dr Royster said since its debut, “In Turn”, which is printed on demand, had been read by family members and parents of junior doctors who had quit the profession early. 

She said they had read the book and, all of a sudden, had realised why their loved one had decided to stop their studies. 

“I did not anticipate that anyone would contact me and share their experiences. I would like to think it will get to the people who would need it.

“My experiences are more unbelievable than fiction. Had I read this or watched it on TV, I would not believe it.”

Growing up in Kuranda, Dr Royster went to medical school in Townsville and later Cairns before coming back up to the Tablelands to finish her training. 

“There really is no place like home,” she said. 

The book is self published through Kindle, available on Amazon and has been stocked at Tableland Books, Atherton. 

“I do intend to ask around more, I’m hoping to get it out to more bookstores,” she said. 

“This is my first novel and I definitely have others in me to write and publish.”


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