AMA Media Release - AMA Woman in Medicine - 25 May 2018
PIONEERING GYNAECOLOGIST HONOURED FOR WORK AT HOME AND ABROAD
AMA Woman in Medicine Award
2018 AMA NATIONAL CONFERENCE - #amanatcon
QT Canberra, 25-27 May 2018
A dedicated gynaecologist who volunteers her time treating women in war zones and Third World countries has been named the AMA Woman in Medicine 2018.
Professor Judith Goh AO, a urogynaecologist who has devoted her career to women’s health, was announced as the winner today at the AMA National Conference in Canberra.
AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said that Professor Goh is a world-renowned surgeon who has spent approximately three months every year for the past 23 years training doctors in Third World countries in repairing vesico-vaginal fistula, a devastating injury that can occur following prolonged, obstructive labour.
“Professor Goh’s nominators – colleagues from the Australian Federation of Medical Women and the Queensland Medical Women’s Society – have described her career as both humbling and inspirational,” Dr Gannon said.
“Since 1995, Professor Goh has donated her time and expertise, working abroad several times a year as a volunteer fistula surgeon in many parts of Africa and Asia, including Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Liberia.
“Professor Goh runs the twin projects, Medical Training in Africa and Medical Training in Asia, via the charity, Health and Development Aid Abroad (HADA), using funds raised to help pay for women’s surgeries such as the correction of genital tract fistulae and prolapse, while training the local staff in these areas.
“To carry out her work within a dedicated team of professionals, Professor Goh often has to brave political unrest, and perform surgery in challenging environments, as well as deal with the emotional and social injuries to her patients due to war, rape, domestic violence, poverty, shame, and grief.
“Her work has changed lives for the better for hundreds of affected women, correcting their often long-standing and preventable obstetric trauma, including vesico-vaginal and recto-vaginal fistulae, with the minimum of overhead costs to maximise the reach of her services.
“Professor Goh uses her time abroad to upskill local practitioners in this area of medicine, and to raise awareness of the underlying causes of chronic complications of birth trauma, including poverty, lack of education, lack of awareness, and the subordination of women in some cultures.
“In 2012, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) ‘for distinguished service to gynaecological medicine, particularly in the area of fistula surgery, and to the promotion of the rights of women and children in developing countries’.
“Her humble dedication within this field of women’s medicine, and her brave and generous service to women all over the world, is inspirational, and very worthy of recognition as a recipient of the AMA Woman in Medicine Award.”
The AMA Woman in Medicine Award is presented to a woman who has made a major contribution to the medical profession by showing ongoing commitment to quality care, or through her contribution to medical research, public health projects, or improving the availability and accessibility of medical education and medical training for women.
25 May 2018
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Published: 25 May 2018