Dr Coombe obtained her Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of Otago, New Zealand, in 1993, during which time she was awarded a number of academic and clinical prizes, including an international award. She worked as the Oral and Maxillo-facial and Dental House Surgeon in Napier Hospital for two years during which time she was awarded the prize for the best New Zealand Hospital Junior Presentation and completed the Primary Examinations for the admission to the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons. Dr Coombe then moved to Sydney and worked in an Orthodontic Practice as well as in General Dentistry for a year prior to being accepted into the three year Master of Dental Science degree to specialise in orthodontics. This was completed at the University of Sydney where she graduated first in her year and was also awarded for the best treated patient case presentation by the Australian Society of Orthodontists. In addition, some of her research has been published in an international Journal.