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2021 Prevocational Award winners announced

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A Resident Medical Officer who led a review of HETI’s Proposal for a Unified Education Series for Junior Medical Officers; an Unaccredited Surgical Registrar for his dedication to JMO wellbeing; and a JMO Manager for creating ‘medical societies’ to facilitate the interaction of JMOs with term supervisors and the Director of Prevocational Education and Training have been announced as recipients of the 2021 NSW Prevocational Training Awards organised by the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI).

The prestigious Awards celebrate the substantial contributions made by inspiring individuals to the education and support of Junior Medical Officers (JMO) across the NSW Health system.

“Starting your first placement as a JMO has to be one of the most challenging transitions in life,” said Dr Claire Blizard, Medical Director at HETI.

“Emergency, surgery, oncology, and palliative care are just some of the experiences our JMOs face in their first years on the job.

Providing our JMOs with the right training, education and support is essential to their integration into the workforce, their success in these first years, and their ability to provide the best possible patient care,” said Dr Blizard.

“Across the medical community there are many individuals delivering exceptional care, thinking innovatively and providing inspirational leadership in the area of JMO education and wellbeing.

“Through our Awards we honour and recognise a number of impressive health professionals within the NSW Health community making outstanding contributions,” added Dr Blizard.

The three Awards celebrate inspiring individuals and their support of junior doctors: the Geoff Marel Award recognising the work of a Supervisor or Director of Prevocational Education and Training; the Judy Muller Award for managers or administers; and the JMO of the Year Award.

HETI’s Prevocational Training Program oversees the training of JMOs in their first two years, and these Awards recognise outstanding individuals who provide support and help make these early years a success for NSW JMOs and for our health system.


JMO OF THE YEAR – Dr Tamblyn Devoy

Dr Tamblyn Devoy is a Resident Medical Officer at Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital.

Dr Devoy is the recipient of the prestigious JMO of the Year Award in recognition of his substantial contributions to the education and support of prevocational trainees, significant involvement in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) Resident Medical Officers’ Association (RMOA) as its president and his strong advocacy for prevocational training.

During his PGY1 year Dr Devoy was the ISLHD representative on the NSW JMO Forum. Dr Devoy embraced this additional opportunity to support prevocational trainees in his training network and to also contribute to state-wide discussions to support improved education, training and junior doctor wellbeing.

Dr Devoy is the current Chair of the NSW JMO Forum as a PGY2. Through his leadership, JMO engagement has increased significantly, despite a year impacted by COVID-19 with meetings normally held face-to-face needed to be held virtually.

Dr Tamblyn Devoy has supported a number of JMO Forum projects related to JMO education, training and wellbeing and was project lead for a review of HETI’s Proposal for a Unified Education Series for Junior Medical Officers.

Dr Devoy continues to demonstrate his commitment to advocate the wellbeing and education for JMOs in regional and rural settings such as in Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital, in his Local Health District and across NSW.

Dr Devoy will represent NSW in the Australia and New Zealand Prevocational Medical Education Forum awards, to be announced in October 2021.


GEOFF MAREL AWARD WINNER – Dr Mark Fenton

Dr Mark Fenton is an Unaccredited Surgical Registrar at Maitland Hospital.

Enthusiastically nominated by JMOs, Resident Medical Officers and specialty Registrars, Dr Fenton has been awarded the Geoff Marel Award in recognition of his dedication to surgical education and training of JMOs within the Hunter New England Local Health District.

A large part of Dr Fenton’s work towards training, education and mentoring of JMOs is voluntary. He takes an active interest in the careers of the JMOs he interacts with. Dr Fenton’s dedication to teaching extends to JMO wellbeing. His education sessions include guiding JMOs to look after themselves and their colleagues and coping with shift work.

This Geoff Marel Award honours the work of the late Associate Professor Geoff Marel, a long-time contributor to prevocational training, advocate for trainee welfare, and a pioneer known for his vision, creativity, insight and humanity.

Dr Fenton will represent NSW in the Australia and New Zealand Prevocational Medical Education Forum awards, to be announced in October 2021.


JUDY MULLER AWARD WINNER– Ms Sharon Kuipers

Ms Sharon Kuipers is the JMO Manager at Nepean Hospital.

Nominated by over 100 JMOs, Ms Kuipers has been awarded the Judy Muller Award in recognition of her commitment to the wellbeing and education of JMOs at Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.

Ms Kuipers demonstrates that the education, training and wellbeing of JMOs is central to her work by consistently sharing opportunities to participate in teaching from surrounding hospitals with the JMOs at Nepean Hospital and actively worked with registrars, supervisors and heads of departments to ensure that JMOs’ teaching time are protected.

Ms Kuipers was instrumental in the creation of ‘medical societies’ to facilitate interaction of JMOs with term supervisors and the Director of Prevocational Education and Training. Ms Kuipers also played a key role in setting up a ‘Rostering Committee’ to give the JMOs an opportunity to review draft rosters, giving them a sense of ownership.

The Judy Muller Award recognises the work of a JMO Manager or Administrator who has made substantial contributions to the education and support of prevocational trainees.

The Prevocational Training Council, consisting of education, training and medical leaders from across NSW select Award recipients following an open nomination process. A list of previous recipients can be found on the HETI website.

About HETI and our work with Medical Graduates

Together with our health partners, HETI provides education and training support to around 2100 junior doctors in that pivotal space between medical school and employment.

This year 1074 interns will be placed into NSW Health facilities through HETI’s Medical Graduate Recruitment Program. HETI is accredited by the Medical Board of Australia as the intern training accreditation authority for NSW with responsibility for setting quality education standards and overseeing the training of all prevocational trainees in their first two postgraduate years.

HETI also supports the JMO Forum of NSW which provides an opportunity for JMOs to network and share innovations relating to prevocational supervision, education and training, accreditation and welfare, and advise the NSW Prevocational Training Council.

HETI, part of NSW Health, works with health partners to develop education and training that support the NSW Health workforce to deliver world-class health care.