Dr John Gavranich is retiring. With patients Jaxxyon Demaineuk and Ethan Rio.
Dr John Gavranich is retiring. With patients Jaxxyon Demaineuk and Ethan Rio.

Doctor hangs up stethoscope after decades of care

HE may not be a mind reader but decades of diagnosing illness in young children has made retiring Ipswich paediatrician, Dr John Gavranich, the next best thing.

Dr Gavranich will finish up as Divisional Director of Women Children and Family Services at Ipswich Hospital this week.

He said it was the diagnostic complexity of working with young children that drew him to paediatric medicine.

"I chose paediatrics because there is a challenge in looking after sick children," Dr Gavranich said.

"Particularly babies and infants who are unable to tell you what is wrong.

"You have to use all your skills as a doctor to work out what is happening to them."

Dr Gav, as he is affectionately known to hospital staff, has cared for thousands of Ipswich children and babies over three decades of specialist practice.

After graduating from the University of Queensland in 1979, Dr Gavranich began his paediatric training at the Royal Children's Hospital (Brisbane).

He started private practice in Ipswich in 1989 where he was mentored by long-serving colleagues Dr Bob McGregor and Dr Malcolm Miller.

Dr Gavranich went on to become Director of Paediatrics at Ipswich Hospital in 1998.

He says he has mixed emotions about leaving Ipswich Hospital which, after years of spending his weekends on-call, feels almost like a second home.

"I leave knowing the paediatric department has great staff and is in a strong position to work towards Ipswich Hospital becoming a tertiary hospital in the near future," Dr Gavranich said.

"I would like to stay in touch, like an old friend."

West Moreton Health Chief Executive, Dr Kerrie Freeman, wished Dr Gavranich well in his retirement.

"John has been a part of the fabric of West Moreton for three decades," Dr Freeman said.

"Under his stewardship, our paediatric services have grown from two to eight medical officers.

"John was also a part of the foundation board of the West Moreton Anglican College. He has been deeply interested in the welfare of youth in this region for many years."

Dr Gavranich is looking forward to spending more time with his wife of 41 years, Judith, and their children Katherine, Lizzy, Sarah, Robbie and David.

"It will be nice to slow down, read more books, learn to be a gourmet cook, grow my own veges, get some bees to make honey, go on more road trips, and go camping and fishing with my mates," he said.

"A wise colleague once said that, in retirement, you need to have something to do, something to look forward to and something to be useful in. So that's my plan."