Far from a case of all work and no play, diehard football (soccer) fan and St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Peter Forgiarini gets to live his love of football in many facets of his life.
When the Hawthorne resident isn’t treating sports injuries and other emergencies at St Andrew’s Emergency Centre, he is training with the aptly named Australian Medical Football Team, the Docceroos. He was a founding member in 2003, scored the team’s first goal and is now co-captain.
The Docceroos competed at the World Medical Football Federation World Cup in Brazil this year, which coincided with the last week of the FIFA World Cup. The team placed 10th out of 16 countries. The Docceroos’ best finishes to date were fourth place in both 2007 and 2009.
Dr Forgiarini said the sports medicine conference attached to the World Medical Football Federation World Cup tournament also helped him stay up to date.
He will accompany the Australian U-16 football team, the Joeys, to Thailand in September for the Asian Football Confederation U-16 Championship for a three-week tournament, where the team aims to qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.
He said he has loved the ‘world game’ since he started playing with Taringa Rovers at the age of six. He currently plays at Acacia Ridge All Stars.
“I love football because it requires an interesting set of skills – there’s the technical and tactical side to it, as well as the endurance and fitness aspects. But it’s something that I feel I will never fully master – each game is full of surprises,” Dr Forgiarini said.
He has gained a similar love of the unexpected from his role at St Andrew’s Emergency Centre, where he often works the night shift and, “no two nights are the same”.
“Each shift varies enormously and you never know what the night may hold. We see everything from head to toe in all age groups. Cardiac and abdominal presentations are common as well as work and sport-related injuries, and the odd party-related injury.”
Dr Forgiarini also combines his passion for emergency medicine and football by providing medical support at Brisbane Roar home games. However, he is often tasked with caring for the visiting teams at Suncorp Stadium.
“Being a Brisbane supporter, the hardest thing is not being able to jump up and celebrate when the Roar scores - it wouldn’t be a good look if I started celebrating on the opposition’s bench,” he joked.
Dr Forgiarini plans to continue his training with the Docceroos for the next World Medical Football Federation World Cup in Los Angeles in 2015.
The Docceroos have taken inspiration from their medical backgrounds to support a number of men’s health campaigns, including The M5 Project, Blue September and International Men’s Health Week.