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Anaesthetics pioneer applauded by colleagues

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A Melbourne-based anaesthetist who has won international recognition for her investigations into the phenomenon of patient awareness during anaesthesia has been recognised with the AMA Woman in Medicine Award.

Head of Research at Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management, Professor Kate Leslie, was presented with the award by outgoing AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton during a ceremony at the AMA National Conference.

Dr Hambleton said the award was made in recognition of Professor Leslie’s outstanding contribution to improving the quality of care for patients in Australia and internationally, as well as her service to the medical profession.

“Professor Leslie is a leader in every sense of the word,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Not only is she recognised internationally for the contribution she has made to understanding and improving the use of anaesthetics, she is immediate past president of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, is immediate past Chair of the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges, has extensive research interests and is directly engaged in teaching the next generation of anaesthetists.”

Professor Leslie’s work on patient awareness has helped refine the administration of anaesthetics, including through the use of brain monitoring.

“Every year, millions of patients are given anaesthetics, and Professor Leslie’s work has helped make their use safer, with fewer complications and adverse events,” Dr Hambleton said.

Professor Leslie has published more than 140 research papers and made more than 170 research presentations, and has devoted countless hours to her  profession, including helping train aspiring anaesthetists and undertaking vital work accrediting the education programs of specialist colleges and hospitals, both in Australia and internationally.

“Professor Leslie’s long list of achievements make her a deserving winner of the AMA Woman in Medicine Award,” he said.

Adrian Rollins