MILDURA-based General Practitioner (GP), and Monash Rural Health lecturer, Dr Kane Treble, PICTURED, is the toast of the region’s medical fraternity after taking out the Australian Medical Student Association (AMSA) Dr-in-Training Excellence Award for 2019.

Dr Treble, 34, said the accolade had come as a major surprise, and he was honoured to win the national award.

“Our medical students, who we taught throughout 2019, were the ones who nominated me,” he said.

“It’s always nice to have students realise how much work and effort we (the teachers) put in to make sure they enjoy their time.

“My first thought was that it was just nice to be nominated, but to find out in the end that I had actually won was a bit of a shock.”

The AMSA Excellence in Teaching Awards is an annual campaign that aims to celebrate great teachers in medical schools and hospitals around Australia.

The awards acknowledge and recognise “standout examples of a positive teaching culture”, and those who go “above and beyond” in educating their students and supporting their well-being.

“The relationship between teacher and student is everything at this stage of a medical student’s development,” Dr Treble said.

“I did all of my medical schooling in Gippsland…. we had some terrific role models through Monash University there in terms of lecturers and tutors who would put in the extra effort.

“Anytime that you’re in a small cohort it gets more intimate, and you get to know more people.

“The other benefit to working in the country is that the students get hands-on training, and they are resourced well.

“In 2019 I was mainly teaching third-year students. It’s their first clinical year – so the first time interacting with real patients, etc.

“I was teaching them a lot of the bread and butter things – like approaching new and complex patients, and how to translate that book knowledge into clinical practice, while developing the art of actual medicine.”

Dr Treble said that he had harboured a passion for teaching long before deciding to become a doctor.

“I moved to Mildura four years ago… I knew Monash University had the Rural Health School here,” he said. “I was working in the emergency department (at Mildura Base Hospital) at the time, and I touched base to see if Monash were looking for a lecturer.

“I’m very passionate about teaching – I’ll be teaching for as long as I practise medicine…

“The Latin for Doctor actually means ‘teacher’, so it should be a fundamental part of what we do.”

Dr Treble admits to taking the “long path” to his career in medicine, having started his working life in bio-chemistry and molecular biology.

“I was working in research for a few years, and then started a PhD which fell to pieces,” he said. “I then become a paramedic in NSW for three years, before having the opportunity to sit for postgraduate medical entry, where I was accepted into Monash University.”

Dr Treble spent four years studying, and a further 12 months as an intern, and then undertook a year of general residency before starting emergency medical training at Mildura Base Hospital two years ago.

Following the birth of his son, Xavier, Dr Treble decided to move into General Practice to spend time with his family, while also taking up a role with Monash Rural Health.

“I’m a GP Registrar – so I’m still in training myself,” he said. “My goals over the next few years is to complete my GP training as soon as possible, and keep teaching.

“To teach students you need to know your stuff, so it means you have to stay up-to-date, and it does feed back into some personal benefit.”