Gerry named Australia’s top rural doc

Dr Gerry Considine from Clare, has been awarded Rural Doctor of the Year 2020, by the peak rural medical body, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).

Dr Considine was presented this prestigious award in recognition of his service to his community and in particular his work in treating skin cancer throughout rural South Australia.

RDAA president, Dr John Hall, said Dr Considine was a great example of a rural doctor adapting to meet the needs of his community.

“Gerry is a really great rural doctor and has been very involved in not only caring for his community, but also advocacy, serving on the Board of the Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA), as well as RDAA,” he said.

“He was nominated for this award by Cancer Council South Australia, in recognition of his great work in the field of skin cancer medicine.

“He recognised a shortage of specialist skills across regional South Australia in the early detection and treatment of skin cancer including melanoma, despite how common the disease is in the area.

“Gerry then furthered his formal education to address this service gap and has obtained grant funding through the Country SA PHN to offer free community outreach skin check consultations and treatment across the state, which are booked out weeks in advance.

“On top of this Gerry is extremely passionate about health equity and shares his knowledge with his medical colleagues as well as non-medical practitioners,” Dr Hall said.

“He is a past president and current treasurer of RDASA and has gone above and beyond his call of duty to support improved access to quality medical care in rural communities.

“Gerry has shown exceptional commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of people living in rural and remote South Australia and we think he is a truly deserving recipient of the 2020 RDAA Rural Doctor of the Year Award.

“It’s my absolute pleasure to be able to present it to him… even if it had to be virtually!”

Dr Considine said he was honoured to receive the award and was grateful for Cancer Council South Australia for recognising his work.

“I’m humbled by the idea that I’m doing anything noteworthy,” Dr Considine said.

“Cancer Council SA does this kind of work all day, every day, but it’s so encouraging to see them appreciate the efforts we are making in rural and remote areas to help our patients as best we can.

“I am privileged to be part of a really great and supportive rural medical network, both locally and through my colleagues across the state, through RDASA, and nationally through RDAA.

“Rural medicine gives you the opportunity to expand your scope of practice into areas in which you are interested, and which are needed by your community.”

Dr Considine not only works as a GP in Clare and Burra, he also does emergency medicine at Clare Hospital and now spends increasing time doing skin cancer outreach work across rural areas of the state.

He is also an active part of the Rural Emergency Responder Network and provides assistance to ambulance crews at major incidents in the local area, also assisting with ambulance volunteer training in Burra.

A keen private pilot, Dr Considine also completes medicals for local and RFDS pilots as a designated aviation medical examiner for CASA.

“I love life here in Clare, it’s a great place for my wife Mel (who is also a rural GP) and I to raise our three young boys,” Dr Considine said.

“I have a great work-life balance, with time to explore my music, enjoy family time, and still squeeze in the odd run in our beautiful area.

“Thank you very much to RDAA for this recognition, to the many people who’ve supported me right along my career and to Cancer Council SA for thinking of me for the nomination.”