Bond University 2011 medicine graduate Dr Sasha Mealing has been awarded the Mater’s prestigious Medical Intern of the Year Award, with fellow Bond graduate and colleague Dr Jessica McDonald also recognised as one of four nominees.
Part of the Mater's Annual Clinical Teaching & Learning Awards, the award is presented to the intern who has demonstrated enthusiasm, excellence in communication and collaboration; a commitment to teaching and learning, and consistently demonstrates the attributes of an exceptional doctor.
Director of Learning & Development at Mater Health Services Donna Bonney said Dr Mealing’s superior level of organisation and willingness to continually act beyond an intern role to advocate for her patients helped her stand out from the crowd in her intern year.
“What is impressive is her ability to communicate effectively in order to obtain the best outcome for the patient, particularly when there was evidence of conflict between management strategies,” said Ms Bonney.
“Patients love her and her progression in terms of patient assessment, planning of care and clinical sense has been quite amazing.
“Sasha demonstrates an exceptional level of patient accountability and responsibility to do the best for her patients, at a level that goes above and beyond expectations,” she said.
Dr Mealing said she was “surprised, extremely honoured and very much elated,” to win this year’s award.
“I didn’t expect to be given the opportunity to make such a difference to patient outcomes,” said Dr Mealing.
“The Mater’s supportive environment and dedication to teaching offered scope for many rewarding and challenging experiences,” she said.
“The skills I learnt during my studies at Bond University – particularly those taught by Clinical Professor Martin Elly about communications skills, behavioural medicine and graded assertiveness – meant I was prepared to handle any patient situation that arose.
“I was able to extrapolate from those core skills to know what to say in some tricky situations and make the right judgement calls to give the patients the support they needed.”
So far this year, Dr Mealing has completed rounds in perioperative medicine, neurological paediatrics, emergency medicine, orthopaedics and neonatology and secured employment as a Junior Health Officer at the Mater for next year.
She also plans to apply to paediatrics college after developing a real passion for the field.
“Dealing with children is very rewarding. I enjoy being able to explain something to a child in their terms, so they can begin to understand their disease and let go of their fear, which often makes them feel better. Seeing them improve is wonderful,” said Dr Mealing.
Fellow nominee and 2011 Bond medicine graduate, Dr Jessica McDonald, was also praised for her performance as an intern this year, securing one of four nominations for the award.
“Dr McDonald’s term assessments identify that her performance over the year has been better than expected to the point of exceptional performance,” said Ms Bonney, from Mater Health Services.
“Dr McDonald is calm, competent, an excellent communicator, and is very reliable with good clinical judgments. She has been identified as showing excellent interpersonal skills, great time management and team work.
“She offers a strong work ethic, excellent attention to detail and is able to communicate on all levels,” said Ms Bonney.
Dr McDonald will also continue with the Mater next year as a Junior Health Officer.
Head of the School of Medicine at Bond University, Professor Peter Jones, said he was delighted to see the School’s graduates performing so well.
“To have two of the four nominees for Mater’s Medical Intern of the Year hail from Bond University is a great reflection on the quality of our program and the preparedness of our graduates,” said Professor Jones.
“We congratulate both Dr Mealing and Dr McDonald on their achievements, and look forward to following their careers into the future,” he said.