Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service celebrates top Doctor

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Dr Shane O’Donovan, SCHHS Emergency Department Registrar, and Buchanan Prize winner.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Registrar, Dr Shane O’Donovan has been awarded the Buchanan prize from the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.

In November 2021 and March 2022, Dr O’Donovan sat his emergency medicine exams, a six-hour written, and a two day objective structured clinical exam (OSCE practical assessment).

These exams form the pathway to become a Fellow of ACEM (FACEM), a recognised specialist in Emergency Medicine and contribute to the advancement of Emergency Medicine across Australia and New Zealand.

Dr O’Donovan said he was “humbled and honoured” to hear the news from the College that he had received the highest mark.

“My wife, and my young son were very supportive in me taking the exams, as were the teaching team and consultants at SCHHS,” he said.

Over 18 months, the Irishman prepared for the exam with his allocated study partner (virtually) in Melbourne, which helped him prepare.

Despite being nervous about the first station during the OSCE practical exam, Dr O’Donovan said he was comforted by the fact he felt prepared.

The result is reassurance and justification that Dr O’Donovan has chosen the right career path, he comes from a family of nurses, and has also spent time in Ireland volunteering in the community for the Red Cross.

“I feel very thankful to be working at a facility like Sunshine Coast University Hospital, we have an amazing cohort of registrars, and 10/11 registrars passed their written, and 7/8 passed their practical exam.

“My career path started with an Undergraduate in Chemistry, before returning to study to improve my leaving certificate (Senior Certificate) result to enter Medicine, which he then completed with first class honours.

To maintain his connection with community, Dr O’Donovan has also been a member of the LifeFlight team on the Sunshine Coast since 2020, conducting medical rescues.

He joined the SCHHS Emergency team in 2021, “A university hospital is the perfect place to learn from others, I also spend time as the Ultrasound Registrar in ED, hope to progress to a consultant in the coming months.”

FACEM Dr Benjamin Close, SCHHS Director of Emergency Medicine, said: “Dr O’Donovan’s achievement is a credit to himself and his commitment to medicine, as well as the training approach and peer support provided across our Emergency Departments. The whole team are proud of his achievement, we are so fortunate as are our patients to have registrars like O’Donovan here on the Sunshine Coast.”