Medical School alumna wins prestigious surgical prize

Dr Nicole Rodrigues
6 October 2016

ANU Medical School alumna, Dr Nicole Rodrigues, has become the first ACT recipient of the Gordon Gordon-Taylor Prize, awarded for the highest mark in a surgical entrance examination.

The Generic Surgical Sciences Examination is held three times a year, with hundreds of doctors across Australia and New Zealand spending months studying to get across the line.

Deputy Dean of the ANU Medical School, Professor Imogen Mitchell, congratulated Dr Rodrigues on her achievement.

“It is tremendously exciting that Nicole has been awarded the Gordon Gordon-Taylor Prize. This is not only a first for the ACT but also a first for an ANU Medical School graduate,” Professor Mitchell said.

“As a medical school, we are enormously proud of Nicole's achievement. In receiving this award, Nicole has become a wonderful role model for aspiring surgeons and particularly aspiring female surgeons.”

Dr Rodrigues is currently working as a Resident Medical Officer at the Canberra Hospital. 

“Just knowing that I got the top mark out of everyone in Australia and New Zealand, is amazing,” she said.

“The surgeons and surgical registrars at the Canberra Hospital were really supportive in the lead up. Once I decided when I wanted to sit the exam, I was given lots of advice and tips, as well as study material that they found helpful.”

Dr Rodrigues is aspiring to become a General Surgeon, and successfully completing the Generic Surgical Sciences Examination, puts her one step closer to that goal.

“I just enjoy how surgery can make such a quick and tangible difference in somebody’s quality of life,” she said.

“In my third year of medical school, I started my clinical placements in surgery and on my very first day I got to scrub and assist, and I thought, this is awesome, I really want to do this.”

“I haven’t found anything else that I like as much as surgery since. I don’t see it as hard work. I think, if you enjoy it and it is something that you want to do, then don’t let the hours and hard work put you off.”

The Gordon Gordon-Taylor Prize is awarded by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.