Meet Dr Jesse Zanker: A Journey of Dedication, Education and Innovation in Geriatric Medicine

Meet Dr Jesse Zanker! Originally from Echuca and graduating from the Department of Rural Health Rural Clinical School in 2010, Dr Zanker is a dedicated educator and clinician who is advancing healthcare in both metropolitan and rural settings.

Following his graduation, Jesse embarked on an internship and basic physician training at Western Health, with rotations to Mildura and Ballarat. It was during these formative years that his passion for geriatric medicine began.

Determined to further his knowledge, Jesse completed advanced training in geriatric medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Western Health. In 2018, he became a geriatrician (FRACP), marking a significant milestone in his career.

Alongside his medical achievements, Jesse obtained a Master of Public Health from James Cook University and a Diploma of Palliative Medicine. His academic achievements led to the co-founding of Aria Health in 2018, an initiative that provides geriatric medicine services to both metropolitan and rural Victorians.

Jesse has also taken on consultant positions with Royal Melbourne, Western Health, Echuca Regional Health, and Aboriginal Community Elders Services. His impact extends beyond the clinic, as he shares his wealth of knowledge through teaching professional practice to MD2s and delivering lectures and tutorials on Aged Care and First Nations health for the Melbourne Medical School.

A highlight of Jesse’s journey is his recent achievement of a PhD in 2023, focusing on sarcopenia— muscle loss in old age. His research has earned him accolades, including the Dean's Award for Excellence, Melbourne Medical School Publication Prize, and the prestigious Aus/NZ Society for Geriatric Medicine Career Investigator Award. Jesse’s dedication to advancing the field has also taken him overseas, as he undertook a research fellowship at the University of California San Francisco in 2019 as part of his PhD studies.

Amidst all his accomplishments, Jesse remains committed to medical education. Fondly reminiscing about his time at the Rural Clinical School, he now shares his experiences and knowledge, teaching the next generation of medical professionals.

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