29 October, 2022
Lifetime of caring for others
AFTER a lifetime of caring for others, Dr Merrilee Frankish has decided to retire and take some time to care for her own body instead of others and pursue passions besides healthcare.
Dr Frankish has been practicing medicine for nearly all her life, with 31 years of her medical career being in Mareeba after first getting a taste for the region in 1990 when she was a trainee doctor under Dr Towne and Dr Bestmann at the Mareeba Medical Clinic.
She opened her own practice sometime later before selling it in 2012, opting to do obstetrics at the Mareeba Hospital, instructing hundreds of student doctors and interns during her time.
It was her passion and aptitude for teaching that got Dr Frankish recognised as one of Australia and New Zealand’s best clinical educators, receiving the highly commended Clinical Educator of the Year award in late 2020.
One last batch of students got the chance to learn from the veteran doctor as Dr Frankish finished up her last day at the Mareeba Hospital last Thursday.
Dr Frankish stopped doing clinical work last year due to her mental health and moved to instead coordinate training for students and interns.
“I have been very privileged to work in this career and it has been a real honour, it is a great workplace,” she said.
“My core value has always been service is joy and this job has always allowed me to serve the community because it is all about the Ma-reeba community to me.”
Dr Frankish felt it was time to look after her-self and ease into the retired life, pursing hob-bies such as art, singing and writing – she also has her eye on some community groups and ac-tivities she would like to get involved in.
“I have done a lot of art which I started last year because it helped my mental health – I hadn’t done anything like that because all I have ever done is study and work,” she said.
“I have always bush walked and there are lots of community activities in Mareeba that I would like to get involved in but first I am planning to have a few months off.
“I like singing so I will do some of that, writ-ing, spending time with my family and I might even be able to cook for my husband occasion-ally which never happened because I always worked.”