WHEN Dr Dan Bitmead first arrived at Ipswich Hospital he was a fresh faced junior, still learning the ropes.
Like all young doctors he travelled around and eventually returned to Ipswich in 2008, older and wiser.
By 2011 he had landed the top job as the Emergency Department Director and became the boss of all the long-serving staff who were once his superiors.
Over the years he has helped foster the skills of hundreds of young doctors.
Now, he is on the move again to head up the Nambour Hospital Emergency Department.
On Friday staff at Ipswich Hospital will bid farewell to a mentor, leader and friend.
It's an emotional farewell for the doctor and the emergency staff who will remember him as a humble but enthusiastic worker, a man with a big heart and "an all-round good bloke".
Dr Kylie Baker has been working in the Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department for long enough to remember Dr Bitmead's first day as a student.
She said even though he went from being a junior to the most senior among them, he never gloated.
"I remember he went away, and got very clever, and then came back as the boss," Dr Baker said.
"We've loved him the whole time. He never lorded it over us and never put us down.
Dr Bitmead started in his role as Head of Emergency three weeks before the 2011 floods.
It was a rough introduction to the position and one Dr Bitmead said was a steep learning curve.
"To come in and have to manage a disaster of that magnitude, as the doctor in charge of the ED, was challenging," Dr Bitmead said.
"I learnt a lot very quickly."
Despite his managerial position Dr Bitmead has always maintained patient contact, a part of his work he said he would never give up.
"It's been a privilege to be part of the team that has helped this emergency department grow as the city's population grows," Dr Bitmead said.
"It's always a challenge to ensure the services keep up in an area experiencing rapid growth and that will continue to be a challenge here in Ipswich.
"I will miss the people the most."
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