Medical Directors join the Flinders NT Regional Training Hub

Gunlom Falls

Flinders NT Regional Training Hub recently welcomed two new staff members, Dr Sam Heard, Central Australia Medical Director (0.2 FTE) and Dr Olivia O’Donoghue, Top End Medical Director (0.5 FTE).  We look forward to working with them to support and strengthen the post-graduate medical training pipeline and opportunities in the Northern Territory (NT).

Dr Sam Heard
Dr Sam Heard, Central Australia Medical Director, Flinders NT Regional Training Hub

Sam Heard trained in Adelaide and rode to London in 1980. He completed his GP training in central London and established a teaching practice in Shoreditch as a lecturer in the St Bartholomew’s medical school. He returned to Darwin in 1992, having led a European project on electronic health records, and joined the Menzies team.

He helped John Matthews establish the Master of Public Health course and then took on the role of Regional Director of GP Training for the NT. He maintained his obstetric practice and helped set up the home birth program that is still operating in the NT.

Sam has been active internationally with the openEHR and HL7 standards groups and published the openEHR specifications. He has also published on a wide variety of primary care subjects including outreach surgical programs in the NT which was published in the Lancet.

For the past 6 years or so he has been concentrating on coal-face learning and supervision; first at the Palmerston Super Clinic and most recently as Medical Director at Congress. He is very excited about adding the role of Medical Director of the Training Hub in Central Australia.

He established the Cheeky Docs – a group of GPs who play at conferences around the country and can be heard performing most Sunday mornings at the Watertank Cafe in Alice Springs.

Olivia O'Donoghue
Dr Olivia O’Donoghue, Top End Medical Director, FNT Regional Training Hub

Olivia O’Donoghue is a descendant of the Yankunytjatjara and Narungga Nations people, and proudly identifies as an Aboriginal woman from both of these nations. Olivia has lived in the NT most of her life, having grown up in Alice Springs and moved to the top end in 2006. She attained her primary medical degree from the University of Adelaide in 2003 and Fellowship with the RACGP in 2011. Olivia’s clinical work has primarily been in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health
Service sector in both rural, remote and urban, NT.

She is committed to medical education and for the last 4 years has also worked as a Medical and Cultural Educator for Northern Territory General Practice Education, helping to train and shape the next wave of culturally appropriate and safe GPs. She has recently completed the certificate in clinical education from Flinders University.

Olivia is dedicated to helping increase the Indigenous Primary care workforce and offers medical education nationally to the Indigenous GP registrar Network- in the form of high quality exam preparation support and mentoring. She also supports the Indigenous Fellowship Excellence program run by the RACGP. She is a Director on the board for the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA), their cultural safety working group and 2018 conference committee. Olivia is also the NT representative on the RACGPs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Board.

Olivia looks forward to the role of Medical Director of the Regional Training Hub – Top End as she is passionate about living and working in the NT and growing the local health workforce for the NT.

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Flinders NT Regional Training Hub