Dr Michael Connellan, from Ararat in Victoria, has received the RDAA Rural Doctor of the Year Award 2019, for exceptional service to his community and Rural Medicine.
Dr Connellan has been serving the rural community of Ararat for 25 years.
He is a GP Anaesthetist and Obstetrician, and a partner at the Ararat Medical Centre.
The son of a rural doctor himself, Dr Connellan undertook his medical studies at the University of Melbourne from 1980 to 1986.
He is involved in all facets of general practice, has Visiting Medical Officer (VMO) rights to the local hospital, and provides GP Anaesthetic services to the East Grampians Health Service with one to two theatre lists each week.
He also provides GP Obstetric services to the community, sharing a roster with two other local GP Obstetricians.
In addition to this, he shares equally in the local on-call emergency after-hours roster.
Dr Connellan has strongly supported medical training over many years. His passion to teach others has been a big focus during his career and rarely has a term gone by without him hosting an intern, registrar or medical student.
He has also been the mentor for a number of Ararat-born medical students, and has been involved in mentoring a number of Overseas Trained Doctors who have successfully gained their Fellowship from the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) or Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
Dr Connellan always puts in the extra effort for the medical students and young doctors under his supervision, involving them in every facet of Rural Medicine - not just the clinical aspects, but also rural life.
He is passionate about teaching and makes himself available 24/7. He will ring students and registrars when going to the hospital during the night or on weekends to ensure they don’t miss out on a delivery, an interesting case or a ward round that he knows will be important to their learning.
Dr Connellan’s supervision also extends to neighbouring practices through his work as a GP Supervisor Liaison Officer with the Murray City Country Coast (MCCC) registrar training consortium.
Dr Connellan received an ACRRM Distinguished Service Award in 2018, the Rural Workforce Agency of Victoria’s Outstanding Contribution to Rural Victoria Award in 2012, and the RACGP National Supervisor of the Year Award in 2012.
His practice’s involvement in teaching was also recognised in 2008 by The University of Melbourne, with the award of “Best Teaching Practice” at the 2008 General Practice Excellence Awards.
Dr Connellan is always willing to contact Members of Parliament, regional councils and other agencies to put forward a rural doctor’s perspective and to lobby for the recruitment and retention of doctors in rural areas.
During the course of his medical career, he has also served on countless committees to put forward the needs of rural health services and the rural patients they serve.
RDAA President, Dr John Hall, said: “We warmly congratulate Michael on this highly deserved Award. He was selected from a very strong field of exceptional rural doctors. He is the quintessential rural doctor - one who is dedicated not only to his patients and community, but also to ensuring that the next generation of doctors is able to experience rural practice in a friendly and supportive environment.”
Outside Medicine, Dr Connellan said he has always enjoyed golf.
“But in recent years, the shortage of rural doctors has taken a toll on my handicap!” he said.
“I also play tennis weekly with the Ararat Tennis Club, and in recent years I have extended my love of bushwalking to doing some long distance hikes both in Australia and overseas.
“I have also been a member of our local wine and food society for more than 20 years. I have a particular liking for the great shiraz wines of our Grampians region, and at one stage owned a share in a local vineyard and winery.”
A high resolution photo of Dr Connellan at last night’s gala dinner, with RDAA President Dr John Hall (far left in photo) and ACRRM President Dr Ewen McPhee (far right in photo) is available here:
Available for interview:
Dr Michael Connellan
RDAA President, Dr John Hall
Patrick Daley on 0408 004 890