Dr Egan’s passion for mentoring students celebrated with new scholarship

Dr Andrew Egan at the snow fields. Photo: Sandra Chandler
10 December 2021

Dr Andrew Egan was a beloved and respected general practitioner, teacher, mentor, friend and family man. He was an integral part of the Cooma community doing all he could to support his neighbours, and guide the next generation of doctors who studied and worked in his town.

In his honour the Dr Andrew Egan Rural Medical Scholarship has been established to assist medical students from rural or remote areas on the path to becoming a doctor.

 “Dr Egan believed in his students. Working under his guidance was a baptism of fire but he trusted that his students could manage, and that built confidence.” Dr Joanna Copland former rural stream student in Cooma and co-worker of Dr Egan’s, explained.

“He shared with his students the full range of being a doctor in a rural town including the beauty of rural life. Whether it was checking in on a baby in the neonatal ward, skiing tutorials, mountain biking tutorials, going to argue with the hospital manager about an injustice for patients or a funding cut that would affect services – his passion was all encompassing.”

“It was his encouragement and enthusiasm that led me to my career as a general practitioner obstetrician, and he was my first choice when I needed a mentor to complete my GP training.”

“Once I was back in Cooma as a fully-fledged doctor and newly minted obstetrician he helped me build confidence in doing the role independently. He was my back-up when I doubted myself and a shoulder to cry on when things didn’t go as planned.”

“A lot of the hardest experiences I’ve had in my medical career were made better because he was by my side - the experienced practitioner who had navigated these things before. His teaching and guidance has shaped the doctor that I am. There is a giant Andrew shaped hole in the surgery where we worked together.” Dr Copland said.

“He most definitely instilled a passion for rural medicine in me when I was a student, and for many others too, so this scholarship is a fitting tribute.”

Professor Amanda Barnard, Associate Dean Rural and Indigenous Health and Head of the Rural Clinical  School said, “Dr Egan has been an enthusiastic and supportive supervisor to many, many ANU students in both the rural stream and those on six-week rotations.”

“It is wonderful that the scholarship, created in his memory, will allow students to be financially supported as they undertake their study. I encourage our eligible students to consider applying for the scholarship, which closes 31 January 2021.”