Starting a practice with dreams to expand

We helped dermatologist Dr Ben Carew establish a dermatology hub in central Queensland.

  6 minutes

You can take Dr Ben Carew out of the country, but central Queensland is never far from his mind. Growing up in Rockhampton, he began his career studying physiotherapy and worked in Emerald on a rural scholarship with Queensland Health, before heading to Brisbane where he completed a medical degree at the University of Queensland. But his deep connection to central Queensland eventually prompted another move, and after graduating in 2003, he and his GP partner Claire relocated to Yeppoon, where they spent the next four years working in general practice.

At the back of his mind was the idea of starting his own practice, and maybe even expanding to service the larger region. But he didn’t know where to start.

Getting under the skin

With an interest in expanding his medical credentials, Dr Carew returned to Brisbane in 2011 and began a fellowship in dermatology at The Australasian College of Dermatologists. It was during his time as a registrar that he first met BOQ Specialist’s Michael Foley.

“Michael knew a few of my colleagues at the PA (Princess Alexandra) Hospital and when he found out that I was looking to improve my housing situation, he put me in touch with his colleague Sam Baxter, a financial specialist who is a home loan expert. BOQ Specialist was instrumental in helping us finance the perfect home for our growing family. I was very impressed the way Michael and Sam Baxter worked together.”

By 2015, Dr Carew had obtained his fellowship in dermatology, and was working in private practice with a number of other dermatologists. He always wanted to open his own private practice so when the opportunity arose, he went straight to Michael as his experience and service had been so good.

“We were living on Brisbane’s north side, and I used to drive past a property that I thought would be the perfect site. We were able to secure a loan, fit out the premises and purchase all of our new equipment. We opened the doors in July 2016,” he says proudly.

Further career milestones

Recently, the career trajectory of Dr Carew has taken yet another leap with his appointment as one of the co-directors of the Master of Medicine (Skin Cancer) discipline at University of Queensland. He is also involved in the Australian Skin Cancer Academy and works both as a visiting practitioner and registrar trainer at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital. His ties to central Queensland still remained strong.

“I’ve always been passionate about improving the health services in regional Queensland,” he says. “I see tremendous opportunity in the region and would love to expand the range of services we offer there in the future. But right now we’re just focussing on telehealth and our growth in Brisbane.”

Personalised service

When asked about what he values most about the relationship with BOQ Specialist and his financial specialist Michael, Dr Carew is quick to respond. “The level of service. Michael responds to queries in record time, is very helpful, and he gets things done. He’s there when I need him and has been for nearly six years,” he says. “He’s also continued to support us as the practice grows. Recently, we purchased a new laser for the surgery and we now employ two full-time dermatologists, three visiting dermatologists, and two skin cancer doctors. So, it’s gone from being just me, to a team of eight staff in a relatively short space of time,” he says. “I'm finding that rapid growth comes with its own set of challenges.”

A bright-looking future

With an expanding business, the future is certainly looking bright for both Dr Carew and his family. “When Michael and I first started talking about long-term goals, we discussed the business model in detail. One day I would like to set up a dermatology hub in central Queensland. When that happens, Michael will be the first person we’ll call.

“I trust Michael and BOQ Specialist 100 per cent. Of course, you want a competitive product, but service is also extremely important to me. I run a busy practice, so just the fact that he’s pretty much ‘on call’ is fantastic! Nothing is too much trouble for him. Banking should be about the client and not only are they client-focused but I have a partnership with them.”


Thinking about starting or growing a practice? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for starting or growing a practice. Ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a practice finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 160 160.

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