Albany’s Dr Lorri Hopkins wins national honour for educating the next generation of country GPs

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Brian Williams Award winner Dr Lorri Hopkins.
Camera IconBrian Williams Award winner Dr Lorri Hopkins. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

A drive to educate the next crop of country doctors has earned Albany GP Dr Lorri Hopkins a prestigious national honour from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

For her dedication to empowering and educating budding rural GPs, Dr Hopkins was yesterday announced as the winner of the RACGP’s Brian Williams Award.

The award recognises doctors carrying on the legacy of Dr Brian Williams, who was renowned for his tireless advocacy for rural general practice and medical education.

Dr Hopkins said she was “extremely honoured” to receive the award in memory of Dr Williams, who had helped her to pursue her own rural GP training, which would lay the foundations of her successful career.

Dr Hopkins moved to Albany to start as a trainee at Spencer Park’s The Surgery, where she still works today.

She has worked in procedural obstetrics in Albany for more than a decade, in both general practice and as a medical educator through the Remote Vocational Training Scheme and Rural Clinical School.

She has had a hand in training hundreds of rural doctors and has designed skill-based workshop programs to help junior doctors access specialist training in rural areas.

“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,” she said.

“This way, they can master the required skills and then facilitate learning for other medical students and doctors. Rural communities need good medical care and the best medical care is from doctors that they know and trust.

“We need to be able to give junior doctors the confidence that they can train in the country and that they will be supported.

“Also, that they will be able to have a long and happy, varied career in a rural area.”

RACGP acting president Ayman Shenouda said Dr Hopkins always went the extra mile for her students and aimed for the “gold standard” in education.

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