Dr. James Padley

Flying Doctor awarded top honour

Date published

23 Oct 2021

An RFDS Central Operations Rural Generalist has been awarded 2021 Rural Registrar of the Year.

Dr James Padley was presented with the award at the Rural Medicine Australia virtual conference on Friday night (22 October).

Jointly presented by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), the award annually recognises an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and advocacy in the field of rural and remote medicine.

Dr. James Padely retrieval

Dr Padley originally trained in anaesthetics and intensive care and planned to become a specialist anaesthetist, but his rural upbringing, combined with exposure to rural practice through clinical placements, ultimately inspired him to decide on rural general practice as his preferred career. He currently works with the Flying Doctor from the Port Augusta Base.

“James is a truly outstanding recipient of this year’s award. His work in anaesthetics, intensive care, emergency medicine and general practice has seen him provide medical care in numerous rural locations, from Wagga Wagga to Broken Hill, and Angaston to Port Augusta,” ACRRM President Dr Sarah Chalmers said.

Dr. James Padley medical educator

RDAA President Dr John Hall cited Dr Padley’s leadership in mentoring the next generation of Rural Generalists.

“James is a compassionate medical educator, who is not only proactive in ensuring strong support for medical students and junior doctors in general, but also in ensuring culturally safe learning environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students and young doctors,” he said.

Dr Padley said he was humbled by the acknowledgement.

"ACRRM has been very supportive through my training pathway, and it's fantastic that as a college they prioritise the human side of being a rural registrar and can provide flexible training options – in my case, combining clinical work with other roles as well as family life.”

RFDS Executive General Manager, Medical & Retrieval Services Dr Mardi Steere congratulated Dr Padley on behalf of the Flying Doctor team.

“We’re proud at the Flying Doctor to have dedicated and highly-qualified Rural Generalists with critical care skills that serve our remote communities. James is a wonderful role model for this growing specialised workforce and we’re delighted his work has been acknowledged with this honour.”

Click here to watch Dr James Padley talk about RFDS aeromedical retrievals.