In his Hippocratic oath Hippocrates emphasised the importance of teaching one’s colleagues.
As one of the country’s largest tertiary hospitals, Waikato Hospital has introduced an annual award that recognises excellence in clinical teaching in the division of Medicine. With 18 people nominated, the inaugural Clyde Wade Award went to the physician who had received the most nominations – Dr Paul Reeve.
Waikato District Health Board member and former cardiologist Dr Clyde Wade said teaching and training was an important part of improving the clinical practice of doctors and hence the care we can give our patients.
“As a cardiologist I was completely dependent on my junior medical officers having had inter-disciplinary medical training,” he said. “They couldn’t just turn up to cardiology without having a thorough understanding of respiratory systems and so on.”
“Clinical teaching is one of the most important, yet under-recognized activities of the DHB’s senior medical staff.“
After retiring, Dr Wade decided to create an award that would recognize excellence in clinical teaching by physicians in adult medicine.
“We put the call out for nominations and ended up with 18, which is really a reflection of just how good our sub-specialty teaching is.”
Clyde commissioned Whare Heke, a Tauranga artist and carver, to design a trophy based on a deer antler from Clyde’s deer farm. The deer antler is carved into a stylised koru (representing growth and new beginnings) and sits on a wooden base of pohutukawa from Ohiwa Harbour in the Bay of Plenty.
The award consists of the trophy (which is passed on each year), a certificate and a plaque listing the recipients’ names which will be kept in Medicine. All nominees received certificates.
The award and certificates were presented by Waikato DHB chief executive Dr Nigel Murray.
“This is a living example of the importance of teaching and training,” he said.
In addition to unveiling the plaque for the Clyde Wade Award, Dr Murray also unveiled two other plaques. One commemorates the heads of Medicine from the department’s establishment in 1963.
“Although Waikato was founded in 1887 by 1940 it only had four official departments – Pathology, Radiology, Tuberculosis and Massage! We now have 10 departments in the division of Medicine alone.”
The other plaque recognises the senior residents who act as a liaison between physicians and their junior colleagues.