Dr. Lesley Cadzow

When I was a young lad still in Scotland, I remember watching a black-and-white TV series from Australia called “The Flying Doctor“. As it turns out, one of our Cadzow friends was a real-life member of the Royal Flying Doctor Service portrayed in the TV series.

Dr. Lesley Cadzow has travelled with the service to Alice Springs, Kowanyama and Elcho, and Tiwi islands providing treatment to many indigenous communities all over the central desert of Australia.

As a Scottish-born youngster, she had a keen interest in tropical diseases and went on to train as a general practitioner at Glasgow University. Moving to New Zealand, she worked for a while as a neonatal pediatric registrar flying sick and premature babies around the North Island.

She then settled in Australia and began her work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, providing treatment to indigenous communities all over the country. Moving on to Melbourne, she started general practice and acupuncture with a special interest in musculoskeletal medicine.

A connection from her time at Glasgow University introduced her to expedition cruising and she became an onboard doctor with Aurora Expeditions, a job that has taken her to the Arctic AND the Antarctic and many interesting places in between.

In this expedition video, Dr. Cadzow shares medical info for cruise passengers.

You can also hear her speak about her cruising adventures and her life in general (and it’s quite a story) in this podcast from AntArctic Stories:

During the past six years she has been a regular locum (locum: works in the place of the regular physician) and a medical acupuncturist at Tura Beach Medical Center (between Sydney and Melbourne), and continues her work in remote settlements and as a ships doctor with Aurora Expeditions.

Share this

Similar Posts


  1. My name is Hope McLeod. I’m a writer from the U.S. and will be coming to Scotland in May to do research for my next book: a historical fiction on a famous Highland bard. I understand your family owns Scarba, off the coast of Oban. Because my protagonist once spent a great deal of time on Scarba, I am wondering if it would be possible to visit the island. I will be staying in Tarbert just south of Oban. I’m not entirely sure how I’d get to and from the island. But I’d figure that out later if you are amenable to a visit. Thank you. I would be so grateful for this opportunity.

  2. Hi Hope, first, let me tell you that I actually live in Nova Scotia Canada. I left Scotland when I was very young, otherwise I’d have loved to have met you at Scarba (I love fiction writers!)

    Second, The island of Scarba is very close to the Isle of Luing, which is where Shane Cadzow runs his cattle business. My daughter and I visited him there in 1998.

    My guess is that if anyone would be able to help you, it would be Shane. He and his wife Tooti, also run the 5-star Ardlarach Lodge on the Isle of Luing and you could likely contact him there through the Lodge’s website at http://www.isleofluingcottages.co.uk


    I hope that helps and best of luck with your book!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *