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New Zealand doctor awarded accolade

New Zealand doctor awarded accolade for leading health improvement on a global scale

For his work with skin cancer management internationally, Auckland based skin cancer specialist, academic, author and philanthropist Dr Sharad Paul was joint recipient of the award for Leading Health Improvement on a Global Scale at the APAC Forum Awards this week.

A lead author and editor of an international specialist skin cancer textbook, recently published in the USA, Dr Paul was honoured earlier this year by a dinner at Oxford University after he was one of the Chairs at the World Congress of Dermoscopy and Skin Imaging in Vienna.

“This Award gives me an opportunity to encourage and challenge all those in the field of medicine or healthcare that are frustrated by the slow pace of change to “become the change” and when you finish changing, your work will be automatically done.” said Dr Paul.

“In just beavering away at my practice in Blockhouse Bay I am surprised how my work has evolved globally,”

The other joint recipient was Goran Henriks of Sweden who is a global thought leader in improvement and microsystems. The APAC Forum is Asia Pacific’s premier healthcare conference.

Dr Paul points out awards for ‘healthcare transformation’ may seem boring but they open minds and create discussion and debate that can bring about major change even in an old-fashioned industry like medicine.

“Having worked in public hospitals and in primary care, lectured and written extensively and been non traditional and open minded in much of my approach to medicine, I have often felt like a misfit.”

This accolade has highlighted to Dr Paul that in doing good work, you can sometimes be the change, and become ‘an accidental leader.’

Dr Paul believes health teams could do well to learn from the All Blacks focus to foster talent irrespective of their background or ethnicity, pick the best people for positions and understand some players may be versatile and can kick as well as run.

“It is difficult to get people working together in fields like skin cancer, especially as many competing specialties deal with the problem and everyone thinks that they know best,” he continued.

Last week Dr Paul was at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. While in the U.S he had a number of interviews discussing President Carter’s melanoma and ended up the de facto spokesperson for skin cancer in various media outlets.


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