17 September 2021

Congratulating Queensland's RACGP Award winners

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is congratulating this year’s Queensland RACGP Award winners.

The winners are:

·    Wellers Hill Medical Centre has won General Practice of the Year

·    Dr Joseph England of Townsville has won GP in Training of the Year

·    Dr Sam Manger of Maleny on the Sunshine Coast has won GP of the Year

·   Dr Yvette Morcos of the Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Primary Health Care Service in Mareeba has won GP Supervisor of the Year.

RACGP President Dr Karen Price congratulated this year’s winners.

“The RACGP Awards are an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the hard work of GPs and their teams in caring for their communities,” she said.

“This year’s Queensland winners have truly gone above and beyond for their patients and contributed to the health of their communities, congratulations to you all.”

Dr Nicholas Gianarakis from Wellers Hill Medical Centre welcomed the award.

“Being recognised in this way is a tribute to our hard working team,” he said.

“We strive to maintain the caring and hardworking ethos of the late Dr Nicholas Conomos, who founded our practice in 1961.

“Wellers Hills Medical Centre is committed to the education of medical students and the training of GP registrars.

“We are also committed to providing a medical hub for the convenience and better management of our patients. We have recently completed the building of a modern medical facility to accommodate visiting medical specialists and allied health professionals, along with the expansion and improvement of our existing premises.

“At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this allowed us to restructure our practice to create an isolated respiratory clinic.  This has also enabled us to operate a busy Covid vaccination clinic delivering approximately one thousand COVID-19 vaccines every week.”

Dr England welcomed news of his award.

“As a GP in training there is so much to learn and I thrive on the challenge of developing new skills and expertise,” he said.

“I take great pride in helping Defence and ex-Defence force members. That includes going that extra mile to help patients process the necessary documentation for the Department of Veterans Affairs and organise the right referrals so that they can get the care they need.

“I want my patients to be focussed on improving their health and wellbeing rather than paperwork.

“Whenever a patient walks through my door my attention isn’t just directed to what they are presenting with on that day. Instead, I strongly believe in comprehensive care, preventative health education and promoting a healthy lifestyle so that patients can take charge of their own health.

“Boosting health literacy and encouraging people to enhance their overall health and wellbeing can make all the difference.”

Dr Sam Manger said that winning GP of the Year was a great achievement.

“You don’t become a GP to win awards but being recognised is wonderful news,” he said.

“I have spent almost a decade as a rural GP, including in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, and it has proven to be an incredibly rich and rewarding experience.

“For anyone considering a career as a rural GP I would strongly recommend you give it a try. You are a valued and integral member of your local community and the opportunities to expand your skill set are immense.

“I have a strong interest in whole of person and multidisciplinary care. Rather than just fixing a problem and moving to the next patient I think that a good GP needs to apply creative thinking and develop a strong relationship with patients over many years.

“I am also extremely passionate about mental health and do a lot of work in this space. That includes my role as an ambassador to Equally Well Australia and I regularly support and promote the mental health and wellbeing of GPs and health professionals.

“I have my own podcast for health professionals too, which is really rewarding. It’s called The GP Show and I have been hosting this show with expert guests since 2017.

“Being the best GP you can be also involves integrating yourself at a community level. I have spoken at a wide range of public events including the Woodford Folk Festival and the Transitions Film Festival and run online workshops for the public in areas of health promotion to improve understanding of health and wellbeing.

“Teaching is something I find really rewarding, I’m a senior lecturer and medical educator with James Cook University College of Medicine and Dentistry and that involves supervising, mentoring and teaching some 525 GP registrars, including 50 in the local area.

“I’m in the middle of developing a Masters in Lifestyle Medicine - so stay tuned to hear more on that front.”

Dr Morcos said that winning GP Supervisor of the Year was a wonderful surprise.

“As a GP Supervisor I take great pride in doing all I can to help those in training,” she said.

“In addition to teaching, it is important to advocate for our registrars, to allow them study time, and to give them the resources that help guarantee their success.

“I also make sure that their rooms at our practice are near mine so that I can quickly grab them to discuss an interesting case”.

“Being a rural GP, in my case in Far North Queensland, is a great line of work – there is so much variety and you really get to know and understand your patients.

“Something I am really passionate about is improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and their families.

“I hope my enthusiasm is rubbing off on GPs in training because I want as many doctors as possible to be involved in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.”

The national RACGP awards will be announced on 20 November this year.

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP can contact:

John Ronan

Senior Media Advisor