Dinesh Palipana becomes Queensland's first quadriplegic medical intern

Posted on: Tuesday, 17 January 2017 at 11:32:50 AM

Dinesh Palipana becomes Queensland's first quadriplegic medical intern

A Queensland medical graduate who was left quadriplegic after a car accident says being offered a place as an intern at the Gold Coast University Hospital is "incredible and surreal".

Doctor Dinesh Palipana became a quadriplegic in 2010 when he was in a bad car crash on the Gateway Motorway.

Last week, he was offered an intern placement, making him the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland.

Dr Palipana said it was a huge relief to be offered a placement after years of dedication.

"I got a call on Friday afternoon at 2:37pm, I remember the time pretty well," he said.

"By that point I wasn't sure what I'd be doing on Monday so I was trying to make plans with what I'd be doing in the next few weeks.

"I started medical school in 2008, then had the accident so it's taken a while to get to this point and it feels incredible, surreal."

Gold Coast Hospital's Clinical Governance, Education and Research executive director, Professor Marianne Vonau, said she was confident Dr Palipana would overcome the challenges he is faced with.

"We certainly acknowledge that it will be a challenge but we are probably the organisation of best fit for Dinesh given that he did spend some time here as a medical student," she said.

"There are obviously some issues around physical and practical requirements of an intern which we'll work with Dinesh to overcome so he will be successful in the end."

Dr Palipana said he wanted to encourage other people with disabilities to follow their dreams.

"Just because you have a physical impairment doesn't mean things are cut off so I hope we've shown what is possible."

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