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Associate Professor Gerry Wilkins wins quality in teaching award

Thursday 20 October 2016 12:29pm

Southern District Health Board commissioner Kathy Grant, Dean's Senior Staff Award for Quality in Teaching Associate Professor Gerard Wilkins and DSM Dean Professor Barry Taylor Photo: Sharron Bennett.

Associate Professor Gerry Wilkins has won this year’s top award for quality in teaching at the annual Dunedin School of Medicine teaching awards.

The awards, presented at a ceremony attended by staff and students at Dunedin Public Hospital last week, were based on survey results from Year 4 and 5 medical students.

Dunedin School of Medicine Dean Professor Barry Taylor said the school attracts great teachers. "Gerry exemplifies what makes a great teacher -  enthusiasm, expertise and caring – all combined in the one person."

The Dean’s Commendation to Senior Staff for Teaching award was presented to Dr Wendy Busby and Dr Paul Trani, while the Dean’s Commendation to Invercargill Teaching Staff went to Dr James Faherty.

The DSM Education Unit Innovation in Teaching Award was presented to Dr Helen Paterson, O & G MCQ question bank and common learning resource.

Associate Professor Gerry Wilkins

Associate Professor Gerry Wilkins is a Consultant Cardiologist with the University of Otago/Dunedin Hospital. He is pleased that the reward acknowledges the importance of passing on knowledge to students.

“I was fortunate to be mentored and encouraged by great clinicians such as Dame Norma Restieaux, Dr Michael Abblett and have never forgotten the importance of great role models and patient focused care that was so ably demonstrated.”

“I have always felt that clinical medicine is, in its later stages, an apprenticeship. Without enthusiastic teachers, the “art” part of medicine is missing. Communication skills, synthesis of clinical cases from often disparate clinical symptoms and signs, and treating the patient in their own context and according to their own wishes and expectations - needs the input of clinical teachers. It seems to me that the health of a medical service can often be judged by the willingness of clinicians to teach, interact and engage with medical students and junior doctors, not in formal settings but in the constant day to day work of running a clinical service.”

“My interest in teaching and engaging with senior medical students was re-ignited watching some of my own children train in medicine. It’s an old fashioned idea, but Medical schools absolutely require competent and enthusiastic clinical teachers to achieve their most fundamental job - to teach the next generation of competent doctors to serve the community that they serve.”

Other awards were:

Dean’s Commendation to the Trainee Intern who has shown commitment and aptitude for teaching: Ms Faezah Haji Mohd Amin, Ms Briar Warin, and Mr You Ted (Kevin) Lau.
Dean’s Certificate for the Trainee Intern who has shown commitment and aptitude for teaching: Mr Jonathan (Jono) Paulin.
Dean’s Commendation to the House Officer who has shown commitment and Quality in teaching: Dr Malcom Gill.
Dean’s Certificate to the House Officer (note new standard title for DHB) who has shown commitment and Quality in Teaching: Dr Aung Chillay.
Dean’s Commendation to the Registrar who has shown commitment and Quality in Teaching: Dr Rob Handley.
Dean’s Certificate to the Registrar who has shown commitment and Quality in Teaching: Dr Keith Lee.
Dean’s Certificate to the Nursing Team who has provided the Best learning environment for Medical Students: Orthopaedics/Fracture Nursing Team.