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AMA(SA) Medical Educator Award – Dr Stephen B Kinnear, anaesthetist 

Each year, the Australian Medical Association (South Australia) bestows three very special awards at its annual Charity Gala Dinner: the AMA(SA) Medical Educator Award, the AMA(SA) Award, and the AMA(SA) President's Medical Leader Award. At the 2018 AMA(SA) Charity Gala Dinner on Saturday, 19 May, the AMA(SA) Medical Educator Award for an an outstanding contribution to medical education was presented to Dr Stephen B Kinnear.

AMA(SA) President A/Prof William Tam said: “One of the very rewarding things about medicine is the opportunity to pass on our knowledge to those that come after us. And some among us go that extra step to help spread knowledge to areas that do not have what we do. Also, through teaching, to equip local colleagues with skills and confidence to deliver care well beyond our borders.”

“Dr Stephen Kinnear is one of those people. As well as his work teaching and training here in SA and Australia, including at Flinders Medical Centre and Tabor College, Steve has made a tremendous contribution to education more broadly in our region, particularly the South West Pacific.

“As a visiting lecturer on behalf of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists (ASA), he initiated the South West Pacific’s first medical specialist training program, which has placed anaesthetists in all South West Pacific Island nations in Polynesia and Melanesia. This has been credited as reversing the loss of talented doctors to affluent countries and leading to sustainable training in the region for anaesthetics.”

“Steve designed and wrote the inaugural anaesthetics diploma course and delivered the curriculum. Since then, there have been over 73 diploma graduates and 30-odd or more masters graduates. These graduates have gone on to careers in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Niue, Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, the Cook Islands and Timor Leste. The program transformed postgraduate medical training in the Pacific as it was used as the model for subsequent programs for the school in medicine, paediatric surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology. He also designed a training program for intensive care nurses.”

“Steve spent a decade chairing the Australian Overseas Aid Committee of the ASA, and has continued clinical service and teaching trips overseas. For 13 years he also volunteered his time each year to teach in the Real World Anaesthesia course, which gives anaesthetists from high-income countries the skills to have an impact on the development of anaesthesia in less affluent countries.”

“Similarly, through a course at Tabor College in SA, he has for 15 years helped to teach local doctors and other health workers skills for delivering medical and health support overseas in developing countries. These are situations in which people may be called on to work well and truly outside their comfort zone and training, by virtue of circumstances.”

“Steve inspires colleagues, not just in teaching, but through his attitude and character. If you Google him, you will not find a host of PR stories, just quiet mentions recording quiet steps of service. Steps that have taken him across many air miles. In doing so he has been a lynchpin of a legacy that has already changed many, many lives, and will change many more. I am delighted that Steve is the winner of the 2018 AMA(SA) Medical Educator Award.”

You can read the media release here.