The University of Newcastle, Australia

Rural GP of the Year

Monday, 3 November 2014

UON's Dr Jenny May has been named Telstra RDAA Rural Doctor of the Year in recognition of her contribution to rural health on a local, regional and national scale.

Dr Jenny May Rural GP of the Year

Dr May has worked as a GP for nearly 25 years, while at the same time teaching, conducting research and taking on leadership roles within the rural community.

Dr May was presented with the award during a gala dinner in Sydney on Saturday night as part of Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA14), the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

The Clinical Dean of the University's Department of Rural Health, Dr May is responsible for supporting 32 medical students studying at the Rural Clinical School in Tamworth.

Dr May said she was incredibly honoured to have received the award, and accepted it on behalf of the advocacy and leadership groups she was fortunate to be involved with.

"Rural medicine has offered me and my family the most wonderful opportunities and we are grateful to have been able to be a part of the fabric of a number of rural communities over the course of our working lives.

"My husband, Dr Peter May, was responsible for bringing me to Tamworth after we graduated from medical school together, and we have shared a remarkable journey over the years.

"We have had the opportunity to live and work in rural Canada, in a variety of remote locations in Western Australia, in Alice Springs, and of course always coming back to our home town of Tamworth.

"It has been great to be able to inspire the next generation of medical students with all the positive aspects of working in rural medicine, and it is wonderful to become such an integral member of the community as a rural doctor."

Dr May is Chair of the RDAA Female Doctors Group and is a past chair of the National Rural Health Alliance. She was also a member of the National Lead Clinicians Group as well as the National Dental Advisory Council.

"My advocacy work has been an extremely rewarding part of my career, and I am honoured to have been able to be part of, and contribute to, a number of great organisations.

"The RDAA Female Doctors Group has provided the opportunity to have input into policy at a high level, and I am really proud of the work we have done in the area of violence against all rural professionals.

"My role with the National Rural Health Alliance has allowed me to support our colleagues within rural health, as well as be involved with a number of very important, non-doctor issues, that relate to the heath of not only individuals but to that of rural communities.

"I can't tell you how great it is to have the important work of these organisations recognised through this award."

Dr May is completing her PhD, studying the recruitment and retention issues affecting regional centres for both specialists and GPs.

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