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General practice achievements acknowledged in Queen’s Birthday Honours List


Amanda Lyons


12/06/2018 12:35:34 PM

GPs from around the country were well represented in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Professor Stephen Margolis believes his Medal of the Order of Australia is reflective of the value of rural and remote medicine and medical education.
Professor Stephen Margolis believes his Medal of the Order of Australia is reflective of the value of rural and remote medicine and medical education.

Eight GPs received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) this year, including Professor Stephen Margolis, Professor at the School of Medicine at Griffith University, medical officer with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Senior Medical Editor of the Australian journal of general practice (AJGP), whose general practice career has focused on rural medicine and medical education.
 
‘I got my Fellowship back in the ’80s, so I’ve been in the game a long time,’ Professor Margolis told newsGP.
 
‘I personally think it’s all about the passion for the job. You’re passionate about your patients, about the students and for continuing education, and that’s the guiding principle.’
 
Other GPs honoured with an OAM on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List include:

  • Dr Terence Ahern (Vic)
  • Dr Peter Arnold (NSW) 
  • The late Dr Keith Beck (NSW)
  • Dr Jane Greacen (Vic)
  • Dr Thomas Jones (WA)
  • Professor Stephen Margolis (QLD)
  • Dr Renato Vecchies (Vic) 
  • Dr Richard Wilson (SA)
Professor Mark Harris (NSW) was also awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to education and to the community in the area of public healthcare, evidence-based practice, and to equity, as an academic and researcher, and to refugees.

Professor Margolis believes his award shows the growing recognition of rural and remote medicine and medical education within Australia, something he has observed during the course of his career.
 
‘We’ve gone from rural medicine not being recognised to rural medicine as a career path,’ he said.
‘That’s a huge improvement for [health] outcomes for rural people.
 
‘That doesn’t mean there’s not more that can be done – there’s always more you can do – but it’s worth recognising that across a generation, things are heading in the right direction from a patient outcome perspective.’
 
While Professor Margolis is pleased to receive the OAM and counts it as recognition that he is ‘doing a good job’, his award came as a surprise.
 
‘It’s always nice to be recognised for the things that you do, but I didn’t set out to get the award, I just set out to do my job and do it well,’ he said.
 
‘In my mind this award is about recognition that rural medicine, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander remote medicine and medical education are all valuable. So that’s how I think about it, it’s not really so much about me.’

This article was updated to reflect the fact Professor Mark Harris was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia.



Order-of-Australia Queen’s-Birthday-Honours-List





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