Buchanan Prize winners: Dr Hussain Kadim and Dr Andrew Crofton

Joint Buchanan Prize winners for the 2019.2 Cohort are: Dr Hussain Kadim, Tweed Hospital, Northern New South Wales Local District Health; and Dr Andrew Crofton, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland Metro South Health. Both were awarded the Buchanan Prize at the College Ceremony in Hobart last month.

Criteria for Buchanan Prize

The Buchanan Prize is awarded to the candidate who achieves the highest mark in the Fellowship Clinical Examination. The award is named in honour of Dr Peter Buchanan who was one of the founders of the College and the first Honorary Treasurer. Dr Buchanan believed in the need for excellence in Emergency Medicine at a time when this was an embryonic concept in Australia and New Zealand and it is for this reason that the prize for the best candidate in the Fellowship Examination has been named The Buchanan Prize in his honour.

FACEM Dr Hussain Kadim, Tweed Hospital, Lismore Base Hospital, Northern New South Wales Local District Health

Disbelief and astonishment were Dr Hussain Kadim’s initial reactions. Staring at the email on his phone, lost for words, he passed the phone to his fiancée. Now more than a month later, “thinking about it brings up a sense of gratitude and quiet pride” said Dr Kadim. “It represents the collective efforts of dozens of people, and I was fortunate enough to keep calm and be able to deliver the highest scoring performance on the day.”

“I’m forever indebted to the countless people that dedicated their time and attention to help me become a better clinician through these exams and to win the Buchanan Prize,” says Dr Kadim who was born and raised in London to parents who immigrated from Iraq two years before he was born.

What attracted you to emergency medicine as a speciality? “I love that emergency medicine allows us as clinicians to rapidly assess and treat many of our patients, often instituting therapy that quickly alleviates or improves their symptoms,” said Dr Kadim.

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“Being able to make the correct diagnosis and start treatment is immensely satisfying, as is communicating with patients in need and reassuring them. Caring for the broad scope of undifferentiated patients in emergency medical practice is a richly team-based craft, which I greatly enjoy.”

“That scope also helps to keep things in perspective. After having to tell a family that their loved one had passed away, my next patient was a seven-year-old in good spirits but with a sore arm from a netball injury. It was a reminder that there is more to our jobs than death and dying, and that actually helped to make sense of what I had experienced that day.”

Dr Kadim is currently based at Tweed Hospital where he’s been for the last three years and also at Lismore Base Hospital in Northern New South Wales. Prior to that, he spent eight years working in Sydney’s hospitals after moving to Australia. Dr Kadim is now as a Fellow of the College (FACEM).

Dr Andrew Crofton, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland Metro South Health

Shock and disbelief were Dr Crofton’s first reactions on hearing he had been awarded the Buchanan Prize. He re-read his email a few times before he realised it was true: he had scored the top mark in his cohort for the Fellowship Clinical Examinations.

“I rang my wife straight away and couldn’t wait to celebrate, given the huge amount of support she’d given me throughout my preparation,” said Dr Crofton. “It means a lot to know that all the work I put in at home and at work has been worth it. I’m really proud to have achieved this result for myself, my family and the consultant group at the Princess Alexandra Hospital who provided so much support throughout the whole process.”

“I certainly didn’t leave the examination thinking I had done enough to win the Buchanan Prize, but overall I felt I had represented myself well, which was all I was trying to achieve”, he said.

He was attracted to specialise in emergency medicine for its team approach to medicine, something he saw in action since medical school.

“I love the diversity of our patient presentations, the dynamic nature of our work, from ambulatory care to critical resuscitation. I see the role of an emergency physician as a combination of critical care resuscitationist, diagnostician and leader in the acute hospital system to help relieve the suffering of our patients and ensure the best possible outcomes for all that present to the emergency department.”

What was the hardest part about emergency medicine training and exams? “Investing so many years in preparation for the Fellowship Examination certainly puts a lot of pressure on other family members and friends as they support you through the process,” said Dr Crofton. “Thankfully I have extremely supportive family and friends, and there is no way I could have achieved this result without them,” he said.

Dr Crofton has been practising emergency medicine at Princess Alexandra Hospital ED for the past two years and is an Advanced Trainee.

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