The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is pleased to announce that Albany GP Dr Lorri Hopkins has won the RACGP Rural Faculty’s Brian Williams Award.
The Brian Williams Award acknowledges GPs whose mentoring and support helps rural GPs provide the highest possible standard of care for their patients.
Dr Hopkins trained in Port Hedland for one year as part of Rural GP and Obstetrics rotation before settling in Albany, where she has worked for the last ten years performing procedural obstetrics.
She now splits her week between working as a rural GP in private practice and as a medical educator for the Remote Vocational Training Scheme. Dr Hopkins is also involved in the rural clinical school integrated pipeline program.
RACGP Acting President Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda today congratulated Dr Hopkins.
“The RACGP is Australia’s largest representative body for rural and remote GPs and Lorri is a worthy winner of this prestigious award,” Associate Professor Shenouda said.
“Lorri is particularly skilled at assisting doctors in gaining their fellowship qualifications and equipping them with the skills needed to serve their communities.
“Dedication characterises hardworking rural GPs such as Lorri. We talk about GPs providing ‘cradle to grave’ care which may involve delivering someone’s baby, caring for patients in hospice and all in between.
“She believes in aiming for gold standard education for doctors, which will lead to excellent healthcare for rural communities. This includes care from medical students, junior hospital doctors, rural and remote GP registrars and trainees for the specialist colleges.
“Lorri has designed and delivered a skills-based workshop program to hundreds of rural and remote doctors as a Medical Educator for the Remote Vocational Training Scheme over the last decade.
“She goes that extra mile to ensure that the clinically-based events have an interactive focus, allowing time for the sharing of personal stories and anecdotes. This, in turn, fosters strong growth and development; her passion for general practice education is evident to all who attend her workshops.
“Once registrars have completed their fellowship exams, Lorri includes them in the facilitation and teaching of sessions, building their leadership and mentoring skills.”
Dr Hopkins said that she was humbled to receive the award.
“Winning this RACGP award is an enormous honour, particularly since Dr Williams was such a great advocate for general practice in rural and remote Australia. Rural medical education at all levels and the need for rural GPs to support their peers is so important,” Dr Hopkins said.
“I undertook GP training via the Western Australian Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine and its Rural Training Unit. The centre at the time was under the leadership of non-other than Dr Williams himself.
“It was this positive experience that inspired me to ensure that other rural GPs received the same level of comprehensive rural-specific training that I enjoyed.
“Whenever I am at an ultrasound, obstetric or procedural workshop, I do all I can to share my expertise freely with anyone who is interested. This way they can master the required skills and then facilitate learning for other medical students and doctors.
“I am also a strong advocate for self-care as a key component of GP training. In order to be the best possible GP, no matter where they live and work, doctors need look after themselves.
“It is not just about continuous personal development and growth but also seeking help if you need it for any physical or mental health concern. I hope that my self-care and communication workshop sessions have influenced the lives of many registrars and that they share that knowledge with healthcare workers throughout their careers.”
The RACGP Awards recognise the value of GPs in our community, celebrating the achievements of exceptional individuals who go above and beyond to care for their patients.