Feature

RACGP awards: Honorary Awards


Amanda Lyons


10/10/2018 8:21:12 PM

The RACGP has named the recipients of its 2018 Honorary Awards.

L–R: Dr Kerry Hancock has been awarded Honorary Fellowship of the RACGP; Dr Graham Emblen has been named an RACGP Corlis Award winner; Dr Simon Morgan has been named an RACGP Corlis Award winner.
L–R: Dr Kerry Hancock has been awarded Honorary Fellowship of the RACGP; Dr Graham Emblen has been named an RACGP Corlis Award winner; Dr Simon Morgan has been named an RACGP Corlis Award winner.

The RACGP announced the winners of the 2018 Honorary Membership, Honorary Fellowship and the Corlis awards at the GP18 National Academic Fellowship and Awards Ceremony.
 
Honorary Fellowship Award
Dr Kerry Hancock was very surprised – and especially moved – upon hearing the news that she had been awarded Honorary Fellowship of the RACGP.
 
‘I was taken quite by surprise to the extent that I shed a few tears when I received the call from [RACGP President] Bastian Seidel,’ she told newsGP.
 
‘We devote ourselves to our patients, our profession and our community without expecting reward, but I can tell you I was certainly not expecting this.’
 
A long-time GP and medical educator in Adelaide, Dr Hancock is Chair of the RACGP Specific Interests Respiratory Medicine network, having been involved in developing education and guidelines for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
 
Dr Hancock did not necessarily have her eye on general practice from the beginning of her studies – ‘every rotation as a senior medical student was exciting, but I was pretty biased towards obstetrics and gynaecology’ – but a positive experience with a GP played a role in changing her mind.
 
‘I remember being impressed on a placement in my earlier years at medical school by a GP who was just so kind, gentle and compassionate,’ she said.
 
Dr Hancock became a founding partner at Chandlers Hill Surgery, which allowed her to shape the practice in the fashion she wanted – while also doing what she loved in medicine.
 
‘I established my own practice because I had some definite ideas as to how I wanted to practise medicine and be part of a community,’ she said. ‘And I did get to do lots of gynaecology and pregnancy care and paediatrics, but now after 33 years in the same practice my average demographic is just a little bit older.’
 
When asked what she loves about general practice, Dr Hancock was quick to answer.
 
‘Of course, the patients and clinical practice,’ she said. ‘What a privilege it is to be involved with peoples’ lives across whole families in such an intimate and responsible way.
 
‘Some of my patient families have been four generations, who develop this enormous trust in you to care for them from their earliest beginnings to their final days.
 
‘I feel incredibly honoured to be recognised like this by my colleagues and the RACGP.’
 
Honorary Membership
Alan Brown has been instrumental in developing a number of resources for the RACGP over many years, specifically in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, making him a worthy recipient of the RACGP’s 2018 Honorary Membership.
 
Mr Brown, a Gunditjmara man with more than 30 years’ experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community health, is currently the manager of the Men’s Unit at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service.
 
He is also community representative on the RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Board, playing an active role in promoting the RACGP’s work in the key area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by supporting and guiding opportunities to make lasting contributions in development and delivery areas.
 
Mr Brown was the founding member of the RACGP National Standing Committee on Aboriginal Health and Manager of RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health from 2006–09.
 
When the RACGP became a founding member of the Close the Gap Steering Committee and founding signatory to the Close the Gap statement of intent, Mr Brown contributing to these outcomes through his critical part in building trust between the RACGP and various individuals and organisations.
 
Corlis Award
Dr Graham Emblen began his medical career as an intern at Toowoomba Base Hospital in Queensland in 1984, but felt the call of medicine much earlier.
 
‘I saw myself in medicine from high school days, after my older brother had a major bike accident,’ he told newsGP.
 
Dr Emblen’s early training in general practice led to a passion for all aspects of the profession, which saw him pursue the option that allowed him to explore the widest range of skills.
 
‘As a junior doctor, I found all areas fascinating, so I ended up being a rural GP doing a full scope of general practice, including obstetrics and inpatient care, while owning and running a practice,’ he explained.
 
‘Being able to do all this while still being able to enjoy my family and explore the wide range of options general practice provides – there has been no better option for a career.’
 
About 10 years into his general practice career, Dr Emblen began getting involved in general practice training as a supervisor in his Toowoomba practices. He has since contributed to general practice education as a hands-on trainer and supervisor, and at a consultant and policy level.
 
Dr Emblen has run vocational training programs and the Research Training Program, and developed education programs for private provider, the Cognitive Institute. He took a leadership role with General Practice Training Queensland after a move from Toowoomba to Brisbane in recent years, and in 2017 he led Northern Territory General Practice Education. He is also current president of General Practice Medical Education Inc, an organisation for medical educators interested in general practice vocational training.
 
‘I gain great pleasure in seeing others learn,’ Dr Emblen said. ‘When you see the light go on for a registrar, a supervisor or a medical educator, and when you see that light trigger a change in behaviour that results in a patient getting better care, that makes everything worthwhile.
 
‘This is because, ultimately, I am seeking better care being received by anyone who sees a GP; my personal vision for my career over many years has been “putting healing into healthcare”.’
 
Dr Emblen said that receiving the Corlis Award was unexpected.
 
‘This is a great honour and a very large surprise,’ he said.
 
While Dr Emblen is pleased to receive the award, he views his teaching work as a duty and a way to give back.
 
‘I have been passionate about medical education for many years and hold the view that, as medical educators, we are servants of our community,’ he said.
 
‘Our general practice training is funded by the Australian people and, as such, we should be sharing our insights, knowledge and skills across all we interact with. Our knowledge is owned by the community and should be freely given.
 
‘I have been privileged to be allowed to do this through my many roles with the support of many colleagues around me.’
 
Corlis Award
Dr Simon Morgan is a GP, medical writer and educator from Newcastle who works with GP Synergy and Elemore Vale General Practice.
 
It may seem hard to imagine now, given his years in the profession, but he did not always plan to become a GP, ‘dabbling’ in obstetrics before making his final decision.
 
‘I was talked out of [obstetrics] at 4.00 am one morning in the labour ward by one of the consultants,’ Dr Morgan told newsGP.
 
However, once the plunge into general practice was made, Dr Morgan experienced no regrets.
 
‘It’s a great job and I’m proud to be a GP,’ he said.
 
Throughout his general practice career, Dr Morgan has demonstrated a great passion for medical research and education – now recognised by the RACGP with the Corlis Award.
 
Dr Morgan has not only supervised many general practice registrars throughout his career, but also shared his knowledge with other general practice supervisors via engaging presentations on medical education and helping to pen a guide for General Practice Supervisors Australia.
 
All of this work reflects a genuine investment in medical education and helping general practice registrars become the best GPs they can be.
 
‘We have such a precious opportunity to inspire and teach and support registrars in the very brief window of time during which they train,’ Dr Morgan said.
 
‘We also get to work with some truly amazing general practice supervisors who provide extraordinary care to their communities while also supporting registrars in the practice.
 
‘And I get to work and play with a fabulous fraternity of medical educators around Australia. I do genuinely love the role as medical educator in general practice training.’
 
Dr Morgan has also produced and contributed to a lengthy number of articles published in Australian Family Physician (now the Australian Journal of General Practice) among other journals. He has a strong interest in the rational use of tests and treatments, working with NPS MedicineWise on several projects.
 
When asked how he feels about being presented with the 2018 Corlis Award, Dr Morgan reflected on colleagues and mentors who have helped shape his career, including those within his own family.
 
‘It is a great honour to be recognised by my peers as making a meaningful contribution to medical education,’ he said.
 
‘I have been very fortunate to have had wonderful mentorship, collegiality and opportunity over the past couple of decades to help shape my career.
 
‘But, most significantly, receiving the award has prompted me to reflect again on my dad’s influence as an extraordinary doctor, teacher and role model, and the importance of humility.’



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