Tim in 2009


Doctor and Poet: Curricula Vitae  for Dr Timothy John Metcalf MBBS (Melb. 1984); DipRACOG; BLitt; GCertClinEd; FACRRM

I was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1961. I graduated in medicine in 1984 and in literature in 1995. 

I have spent my 37 year career as a doctor in rural and remote Australia. I have published poetry in literary journals since 1989 and authored 12 books of poetry.

The ratio poetry to medicine is unstable. Currently it is 2:3


MBBS: Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery         Melbourne University 1984

DipRACOG: Diploma of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 1988

BLitt: Bachelor of Letters, Deakin University 1995

FACRRM: Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine 1999 with up to date professional development certificate.

GradDipClinEd, Flinders University 2011

I have full general registration with AHPRA 944883. In the past I have been  registered in the UK New Zealand and Canada. I am on the vocational register (VR). I am a Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

Writing career 

Won my first prize for essay writing at age 5: a book!

Writer and editor for school magazine grade 5 and 6

Several contributions to High School magazines.  Poem and essay chosen to be included in multi-school student anthology in form 4

Several uni-student contributions to student paper, studied Russian Literature during 4th year, and Philosophy in 5th year, above and beyond my medical degree.

Started writing and reading seriously from 1987, first poem 'Port Melbourne, 5 am' in Poetry Australia in 1989.  

Community Radio in Warrnambool Victoria...Poetry in Motion 1991

Studied for the BLitt by correspondence 1993-5.

Commenced professional writing in medicine and life sciences as "MetAnalysis" in 1999. Articles in Rural Practice, Town and Country, Medical Observer, and Australian Doctor Weekly. Soon became untenable due to living too far from the city. This was good for poetry!

Weekly community radio in Bega, featuring poetry and local poets, from 1999 (Over 300 shows)

Winner of WB Yeats (ANZ) national poetry prize 2000.

Wollongong Poetry Workshop 2001

Corvus 2001 

Cut to the Word 2002;

Into the No Zone 2003 (Second/Highly Commended in ACT Publisher's Awards 2004)

Building 37 on-line tutorials in literature and medicine for Australian National University Medical School for first and second year students: 2004 to 2007

Winner Rosemary Dobson National Poetry Award 2005

Poetry Editor for Australian Family Physician 8/2005-8/2006

Verbal Medicine 2006 (Winner ACT Awards)

Co-judge 2006 ACT Literary awards (Poetry)

The Solution to Us 2007

Creative Writing Editor Sustain magazine 2008

The Effective Butterfly 2010

Last to Go and other poems 2012

Red Song of the Red Earth (2016)

The Underwritten Plain (2018)

Numbugga Dumb Bugger (2019)

Spacewalk (2020)

Maybe Street: Selected Poems of Anna Buck (2021)

Medical Career 

2021 G P at Calwell Centre Canberra

2021 Locum at Warren NSW

2016 to 2021: GP at Bombala Medical Centre NSW 3 days a week

2015 to May 2016: writing 2 books

2014: Locums including Norfolk Island, as GP/ED; and writing.

2013: Locums in WA: Donnybrook, Pannawonica; Northam; Kondinin Kulin Hyden

2010 to 2012: Director of Medical Services Tennant Creek NT (F/T clinical and administrative)

1985 to 2010: see below



1979 to 1984: Studied at Melbourne University and its affiliated hospitals, chiefly the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Royal Children's Hospital and the Royal Women's Hospital.

1985:            Internship at Warrnambool Base Hospital, Victoria, comprising 3 month rotations in medical, surgical, outpatients, and casualty, with year round 1/3 roster in casualty.

1986:            Went to the Northern Territory, and did 3 months solo night duty in casualty at the Royal Darwin Hospital, 3 months FMP GP training post, 4 months on Groote Eylandt as DMO (Flying Doctor), a month at Gove Hospital, and finally a month in surgical at RDH.

1987:            Travelled to Birmingham, England, for 6 months of O&G and 6 months of UK and European backpacking.

1988-1989:            Sat and passed DipRACOG.  Began working in rural and remote NSW and Victoria.  Worked about 9 months per year, in 17 practices all together.  Locums from 4 days to 6 months in duration.

1990-91:       Mostly at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, NSW, 9 months psychiatry, 3 anaesthetics, some casualty shifts, 3 months FMP GP, and 1 month of locum GP work.

1992-3:            General practice in Warrnambool, Victoria for 16 months, in two separate practices.

1993-9:         CMO (Career Medical Officer) Emergency Dept., Bega District Hospital, NSW.  During this time I spent 5 months in remote Canada as a GP (Valemount, BC); and arranged myself some work in Nowra and Wollongong, NSW, for the Illawarra Area Health Service, in order to update my skills in Emergency Medicine.

2000: Gained FACRRM 

2004-5 Voluntary association with ANU Medical School creating literary program and encouraging reflective practice 

2006: Appointed Company Medical Officer for Bega Cheese 

2007: Appointed Medical Officer to Bega Valley Shire Council, and Staff Medical Officer to Bega District Nursing Homes. 

2007-8: Returned as CMO to Bega District Hospital Emergency Department October 2007 to April 2008 inclusive; and briefly in July and August 2008

2008 from August: 5 months of General Practice at Tura Beach Medical Centre two or three days a week ; one day at Bega Cheese; extra days for council sometimes.

2009: Some brief GP locums at Tura Beach; mostly locum Emergency Department shifts as CMO or consultant at public hospitals in rural Australia: mostly Launceston, Broken Hill, and Grafton; brief stints at Wagga, Bathurst, Queanbeyan Shoalhaven.

2010: Remote GP locums 5 weeks each Queenstown and King Island Tasmania; 2 weeks Pannawonica in WA Pilbara; ED locum shifts in charge at Broken Hill and Mersey Tasmania

2010 July-2012 August: Director of Medical Services for Tennant Creek Hospital in NT

2010 October - October 2012 NT Director on Board of ACRRM

2011 Appointed to Northern Territory Lead Clinicians group

2011 Appointed Senior Lecturer (Adjunct) Flinders University School of Medicine

2012 RACGP exam invigilator

2012 September to November Simulated Medical Environment Medical Educator, Northern Territory Medical program

Other things I have done

Appointed to the Board of Barkly Regional Arts in October 2010

I was foundation secretary (2003 - 2008) of the Friends of the Libraries of the Bega Valley Shire, an active community group (ordinary member from September; now Bega Valley Friends of the  Libraries Inc.)

Community Radio Announcer: WAY FM in Warrnambool, Vic; a 1 hour music and poetry show called "Poetry in Motion" weekly for six months in 1991. 1999 -2006 a weekly show  in Bega at EDGE FM Community Radio...called The Poetry Show as of about May 2006. Previous shows were Erraticus; The Star Chamber; The Long Jaws Show; Shortbread; and Revangelical. Last one and a half years co-hosted with Graham Farram.

Army Reserve: infantry, signals and catering; 4 years (1980-3 inclusive).

Waiting and Bartending 1980-3. 

Soapmaker 2004 for few months 

The Gully Boys folk music group 2002-5 approximately

Firewood supply: chainsaw work in the bush for five seasons 2002,4,5,6, 07

Factory Hand and Fruit/Veg Picker as student.

1981 - 1999Teaching and Lecturing: in Army Reserve from ; and as a doctor to nurses, medical students, first aid students, and occasionally other doctors. 

Other things I am up to 

Helping to mature two daughters: Xanthe (1991) and Emily (1993).

Playing classical guitar, chess.  

Reading a lot. Mostly philosophy, history, art.

updated: 02/03/2022