Associate Professor Peter Greenberg OAM

Citation for the Award of the Brownless Medal

Associate Professor Peter Greenberg, three times a graduate of the University of Melbourne, has made a substantial and lasting contribution to teaching, research and engagement on behalf of the University. He has had long and deep connections with the University, through positions with the Melbourne Medical School and the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, during his career.

Since first graduating MBBS in 1966, Peter Greenberg has worked at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, mainly as a consultant physician in general medicine but also in HIV medicine and endocrinology. In these and other roles he has influenced the clinical practice of generations of health professionals, placing a firm focus on the quality and safety of care, in the context of humanism and person-centred practice.

An outstanding clinician, Peter Greenberg has always practised with an emphasis on the patient, their context and their problems. He is the physician’s physician, often consulting on patients with intractable problems or difficult diagnoses.  As a role model he has been second-to-none – practising what he preaches and inspiring medical students and doctors alike, demonstrating in every setting how optimal communication with patients, their families and carers, and with other doctors and health professionals, results in better outcomes for patients and for those associated with them.

At the centre of Peter Greenberg’s ability to influence health care is his ability to teach. For 50 years he has exemplified the characteristics of the ideal educator. He is an outstanding facilitator of learning and the application of learning, through activated educational techniques and his innate sense of curiosity. Medical students, residents, registrars and fellows have all benefited from his simple but effective questioning style. His teaching prowess is enhanced by his ability to mentor those around them, assisting him to find paths in health care and beyond. Countless medical graduates will remember the values and humanity of Peter Greenberg’s educational style.

A pioneer of evidence based practice, Peter Greenberg was well ahead of his time in espousing the importance of informing clinical practice with evidence, ideally from clinical trials. He has used his considerable teaching skills to provide generations of medical students and doctors with the core skills of evidence-based practice. As a life-long learner himself, he acquired skills in biostatistics, clinical trial design and interpretation, and health economics, enabling him to meet what he saw as the future of health care, then packaged these skills into educational modules used in the medical program and beyond.

Peter Greenberg has also held senior leadership and influential roles with professional governance and insurance organisations, government services and the NHMRC, extending his contributions to the advancement of medical education, research and practice outside the Hospital and the University.

In all his activities, Peter Greenberg embodies the Melbourne Medical School values of commitment, integrity, compassion, respect and service. He is a laudable recipient of the Brownless Medal.