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Community spirit drives emergency doctor

Marcus with his son Jonty
Marcus with his son Jonty


Medicine, Launceston
Marcus Yong (’98) commenced at Hutchins in 1993 and graduated with High Distinction in 1998. Marcus immersed himself in all facets of school life including competing in many Maths, Science and Chemistry competitions, musical performances on both the piano and cello as well as being a member of the SRC and athletics and volleyball teams. Marcus was also a member of the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra.
As an Emergency Physician, Marcus is on the frontline dealing with any potential COVID-19 infected patients which involves coming up with triage pathways, drills with junior doctors and nurses about managing COVID-19 patients differently, and dealing with the anxiety, stress, fear and emotions that are part and parcel of the pandemic.
Tell us about your life since graduating from Hutchins
I studied medicine at UTAS 1999–2004 and did my intern and resident years at Launceston General Hospital (2005–2006). I then headed to Cairns for another resident year in 2007, before taking a year off to travel in 2008. It was atop Huayna Potosi, a 6,088m peak in Bolivia that I proposed to my wife. We returned to Hobart in 2009 and I started Emergency Medicine training. This took six years, and took me to Cape Town, South Africa where I worked as a front room trauma registrar for six months. I spent two years in the Northern Territory as an Emergency Specialist before returning to Launceston in 2018, which is where I am now. We now spend our time caring for our two young children and building mountain bike tracks on our 135 acre property just outside of Launceston.
What are some of your Hutchins memories?
Adventure Education in Year 11 with Mr Wayne Brown was a highlight and got me hooked on the outdoors. Friday afternoon orchestra rehearsals were always epic – I don’t know how Mr Warren and Mr Willy coped with tired cranky kids for two hours every Friday evening! I will never forget the Chapel Choir tour of England in 1998 when I was in Year 12, and busking in a three-part capella on the streets of Bath. Being awarded Dux of the School, and sharing this award with two of my best friends (Mark Evenhuis and Christopher Line, who are still amongst my dearest friends), was an amazing way to finish my time at Hutchins.
Who or what were your main inspirational influences during your time at Hutchins?
Mr Walsh was my Maths teacher in Years 10, 11 and 12, and wrote the (in)famous MT841C Stage 2 Maths book. He was an epic teacher who would send people out to the wood pile if they misbehaved but explained and demonstrated everything so clearly on his overhead projector. My Adventure Education class, as mentioned above, changed my life and I have prioritised time in the outdoors ever since. Compulsory sport made me take up track running, which kept me very fit during my adolescent years and helped me balance my studies with fresh air and physical activity.
What part do you think your time at Hutchins has played in creating your interest in your chosen field?
The excellent teachers I had at Hutchins helped me gain a high enough tertiary entrance score to get into Medicine. Hutchins also helped me develop a sense of community spirit which has helped me be a better doctor.
What advice would you give to today’s Hutchins students?
These are extremely tough times that we as a society are going through right now. Hang in there and stay optimistic. Try and set an isolation goal (#covidgoal) to turn this negative space into a positive one. My goal is to try and learn to wheelie my bike! Keep active and get outside for some fresh air every day. Video chat your family and friends. Do your best to stay sane. Keep a diary... we are going through a unique period in history that we will look back on when we are older and think, ‘how on earth did we get through that?’ Be strict with social distancing. Wash your hands obsessively. Avoid unnecessary travel. Stay home!! This WILL end and we will all be stronger for it.

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