Stanthorpe doctor Dr Dan Manahan was recently named as the recipient of a prestigious award from James Cook University (JCU).
Having completed a post-graduate diploma in rural and remote medicine from JCU in 2017, Dr Manahan was one of one twelve recipients of this year’s JCU Outstanding Alumni awards.
Dr Manahan began at Stanthorpe Hospital in 1996, where he was medical superintendent for nearly 20 years.
He now holds a senior position with Darling Downs Health as Director of Medical Services, Rural Division.
"I was very honoured to receive the Outstanding Alumni Award for the School of Medicine and Dentistry from James Cook University Townsville," Dr Manahan said.
"There were 12 outstanding alumni recognised from the university’s faculties, six senior outstanding alumni and six young emerging outstanding alumni.
"The experience was fantastic and I was very much in awe of the other recipients whose achievements covered a wide array of applied initiatives in their respective fields.
"The Dean’s award went to Professor Jamal Jompa for his work in coral reef processes.
Dr Manahan was recognised for his work in the Queensland Rural Generalist Program (QRGP), of which he was foundation Medical Director from 2007 to 2015, and also the work he does to improve health services in Pacific island nations.
"I am extremely passionate about encouraging young doctors to come to regional and remote areas to train as rural generalists, it’s a great way to live and learn," he said.
"It’s very satisfying to have seen 500 medical graduates enter the program over its first decade, and what’s even more exciting is that we have a 77 per cent retention rate of those doctors practicing in small communities of 15,000 or less.
"What that means in real terms is that more than three-quarters of the young doctors coming through the program end up staying on to practice in rural communities, which is vital in building the workforce of the future.
"That work into rural practice pathways has been deeply rewarding, and another area that is providing a great sense of satisfaction is the work I’m doing with ROCKET+SHIP, which stands for Remote Opportunities for Clinical Knowledge, Education, Training and Support for Health in the Pacific.
"It’s an Australia-based not-for-profit organisation involved in capacity building, education, training and services in health throughout the Pacific.
"So far that’s involved work in training and education in East Timor and we currently have a project underway in Tonga.
"We’re hoping to build on our team’s experience in rural generalist training in Australia to introduce something similar into Pacific island nations that could really benefit from those types of programs."
Dr Manahan holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Queensland. He also has credentials in obstetrics and anaesthetics.