November 23, 2022

Dr Alison Giles: Victorian Clinical Educator of the Year

“Alison’s role in supervising International Medical Graduates (IMGs) has been phenomenal. It can be quite daunting to manage such a big responsibility, along with clinical duties, but Alison has done a truly great job. She has made IMG’s journey to assimilate in Australian healthcare systems much easier,” Dr. Mandeep Singh Kalsi, Senior Medical Registrar.

Each year, the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils (CPMEC) recognises clinical educators across Australia and New Zealand who have made valuable contributions to prevocational medical education and training.

Dr Alison Giles, Medical Director of Palliative Care and IMG Supervisor, is the winner of the Victorian Clinical Educator of the Year award for 2022.

As the Victorian recipient of the award, Alison was also nominated for the CPMEC National Clinical Educator of the Year Award.

Alison was nominated by the International Medical Graduates (IMGs), Medical Observers and Junior Medical Staff Association at Northern Health.

“Dr Alison Giles has been the IMG Supervisor at Northern Health since February 2018. During this time, Alison has made a significant contribution to the orientation, training, support and supervision of Junior Doctors and International Medical Graduates, far and beyond her usual clinical and supervisor duties. Alison has been instrumental in providing employment for over 40 IMG doctors, and around 80 per cent of Medical Observer cohort, over the past three years,” the nomination read.

“Dr Giles works very hard to create a safe and supportive learning environment for Junior Doctors, IMGs and Medical Observers. She is well known to us and, more importantly, Dr Giles knows each of us well. As an IMG herself, Alison understands our issues, and is available to address any personal and professional concerns.”

Dr Fathima Farook, a Hospital Medical Officer, said, “As an IMG, getting into the Australian medical workforce is not easy. This is where Alison has made a huge difference to me. She always had time for me, was patient with my questions and helped me to integrate into the workforce almost seamlessly. She encouraged me and supported me in my learning journey. She is definitely my inspiration to guide others in the same way she guided me.”

Dr Laarni Escurel, IMG, said, “Dr Alison is simply the best supervisor, she will definitely have a lasting impact in my career. I feel very lucky to be under her wing. Her support to IMGs is unwavering. She has this effect of making us feel that we are allowed to dream and that we can reach our goals as we start our medical career in Australia. She is very generous with her time. She really is a gem at Northern Hospital.”

Alison, along with Susie Sangas, is also credited with creating an IMG WhatsApp chat group specifically for IMGs, which has provided an opportunity for teams to discuss areas of concern, and to trouble shoot with each other sensitive and cultural issues in clinical areas.

Kean Kuan, Director of Medical Services, said, “I have had the pleasure of working closely with Alison in the supervision and management of our IMG doctors. Alison has always gone above and beyond in her role to ensure our new IMG doctors are supported in their wellbeing, and settle well into a new health system. The Observership Program run by Alison has produced many reliable and crucial members of our medical workforce.”

Wanda Stelmach, Chief Medical Officer, said, “On behalf of everyone at Northern Health, I would like to congratulate Alison on being awarded Victorian Clinical Educator of the Year. This nomination comes as no surprise, as Alison has always given above and beyond to support IMG trainees at Northern Health, just as she supports the patients under her care and the staff who work with her.”