Friday, 1 April 2016

New medical students welcomed in Gippsland

The importance of medical students prioritising their own health and wellbeing as they embark on intense years of study and training was emphasised during a recent welcome dinner for the cohort of Monash Rural Health Traralgon and Warragul students.

Held at the Black Tie function centre in Warragul, the dinner was attended by most of the 69 Monash medical students who will spend this year on placement with Monash Rural Health across West Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.

Key general practitioners and specialists from the region’s two hospitals and numerous local teaching general practices were also in attendance. Monash Rural Health Latrobe Valley and West Gippsland Director, Associate Professor Joseph Tam – who also spoke on the night – said the synergy between the university and the local community was evident at the event, as was the support for students.

Guest speaker at the dinner was new Monash Rural Health Head of School Professor Robyn Langham. She was joined by fellow speakers, MC Dr Paul Brougham and Indigenous Elder Linda Mullett who did the Welcome to Country.

West Gippsland Councillor Debbie Brown, Latrobe City Councillor Kellie O’Callaghan and Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent all welcomed new students on behalf of the community while Latrobe Regional Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr Simon Fraser extended a welcome on behalf of two local public hospital executives.

Dr Joseph Tam and Head of School, Prof. Robyn Langham, with Year 3B Academic Achievement Award recipient Deepika Gunda.

The Year 3B Academic Achievement Award was presented to Deepika Gunda.

The event also saw the inaugural presentation of the Dr Robert Hall Memorial Academic Award, presented to the highest achieving Year 4C student Tiarni Templeton.

Dr Tam with Dr Robert Hall Memorial Award recipient, Tiarni Templeton, and award presenter, Janneke Hall.

Dr Hall, who died in 2014, was well known and respected for his contribution to rural medicine and medical education. The public health physician, who taught at Monash Rural Health, held many senior positions over a 35-year career in public health, including in Indigenous, community and environmental health.

Dr Hall was one of the four foundation member of the Centre for Rural Health which was not only the first Rural Health Unit in Australia and probably was also the first in the world. It has grown over time to the current Monash Rural Health with foot print over the North West as well as the South East of Victoria.

His contribution to medical education included serving as a member of numerous Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council and National Health and Medical Research committees (NHMRC).
Dr Hall served on the Council of the NHMRC and supervised candidates for Fellowship of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine. Dr Hall also chaired the Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases for the Western Pacific Region of the World Health Organization.

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