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Award recognises excellence in training next generation of surgeons

03 Jun 2020


Nepean Hospital surgeon, Dr Tony Shakeshaft has received the General Surgeons Australia Excellence in Surgical Teaching Award - NSW- ACT for 2019.

The award recognises the valuable contribution of a Surgical Education and Training supervisor who has positively impacted on a trainee.

Nominations for the award were received from surgical trainees, demonstrating the outstanding reputation the Nepean Hospital surgeon has amongst trainees and peers.

Dr Shakeshaft specialises in colorectal surgery and says, “For me, this award is recognition that I’m doing something right.”

He joins a cohort of award-winning clinical supervisors at Nepean Hospital who are amongst the most experienced clinicians in NSW.

Under the close supervision of these clinicians, surgical registrars at Nepean Hospital receive valuable training and hands-on experience in the early years of their career.

“We take great pride in the registrars coming through and we want them to have a good experience of supervision,” says Dr Shakeshaft, who is a Visiting Medical Officer at Nepean Hospital.

Closely supervised learning is a key component of the training on offer for registrars at Nepean Hospital.

“Surgically, we know that the best way to learn is through closely supervised learning. For registrars, the best operative learning they get is when they’re operating with us assisting them. The best teaching happens when registrars are directly supervised by clinicians and Nepean Hospital does that as well as just about anywhere. It certainly comes through in what the registrars tell us about their experience,” says Dr Shakeshaft.

Nepean Hospital is amongst the busiest of hospitals in NSW. There are abundant opportunities on offer for Junior Medical Officers and unique and rewarding opportunities for surgical registrars.

“We’re a growing, dynamic hospital. We are renowned for the quality and the quantity of clinical work that we do,” says Dr Shakeshaft.

“We’re blessed with a big population which means there’s a lot of work to be doing. We’re renowned as a hospital for surgical teaching and also as a hospital to go to if you want a very, very good and busy surgical experience.”

Dr Shakeshaft says that teaching the next generation of surgeons is the best part of his job.

“Early in your career, you want to operate well and look after patients. While I still want to do that, I’m driven to foster a better generation of surgeons. That’s by far and away the most important thing that there is,” Dr Shakeshaft says.