Citation for the Award of the Brownless Medal
Professor Geoff McColl has a longstanding and distinguished association with the University of Melbourne dating back to the completion of his Bachelor of Medical Science (1984) and Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (1985). Since this time Geoff McColl has contributed extensively over several decades to the success of the Melbourne Medical School and the University of Melbourne more broadly.
Most recently, Geoff McColl’s time as Head of the Melbourne Medical School (2015-2018) brought new levels of engagement, strengthened academic partnerships and ground-breaking collaborative research programs with the health sector, medical research institutes and centres. During Geoff McColl’s tenure the School’s global rankings continued to climb. Geoff McColl achieved stability in the School after a time of University-wide major structural change.
Geoff McColl is recognised internationally as a scholar in the field of Medical Education. In his role of Professor of Medical Education and Training, and Director of the Medical Education Unit in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, he masterminded the development of the first professional entry postgraduate Doctor of Medicine program in Australia. It was not only Geoff’s understanding of the educational benefit of the structure and design of the program that made the program what it is today but his ability to make such substantial change in a very collaborative way which made for extremely productive discussions and negotiations across some notoriously difficult landscapes. Aspects of the program, such as the student conference and a fully-fledged Masters level research project, are renowned and emulated throughout the sector and it remains the flagship course for the School. Today his role as Chair of the Australian Medical Council's Medical School Accreditation Committee (MSAC) indicates his sector wide regard in the field of Medical Education.
Prior to this time Geoff McColl was Clinical Dean, Royal Melbourne Hospital/Western Hospital Clinical School. He also spent extended periods in a number of leadership positions in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences including Associate Dean (Academic), Deputy Dean, Interim Dean, Senior Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) whilst continuing to maintain dedication to patient centred care via a visiting rheumatologist appointment at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (held since 1993). Today Geoff McColl continues his association with the University through an honorary professorial appointment and maintains active involvement in a number of research higher degree projects.
Geoff McColl also held a number of key professional leadership appointments including Deputy Chair, Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria Board, Member of the Masters of Surgical Education Advisory Committee at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, and Chair of the Drug Utilisation Sub Committee of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Geoff McColl’s vision for the Melbourne Medical School has always been well-aligned with its values of commitment, integrity, compassion, respect and service, and his leadership and decision-making style embody these values. The graduates of the current MD program - which is perhaps his greatest legacy to the School and to the Australian community - are also imbued with those values. As a master educator, Geoff McColl’s influence has far reaching significance, benefiting the careers of many, and the lives of even more. The award of the Brownless Medal is recommended for Geoff McColl’s substantial contribution and commitment to the leadership of Medical Education, his reputation for excellence in all aspects of medical practice, and his dedication to the future of the medical profession.