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2018 Avant-AAPM Scholarships to empower practice managers

04 December 2018 | Avant media

Avant, in partnership with Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM), has awarded five practice managers scholarships to enrich their professional development and better support the doctors and patients in their practice.

This year, the 2018 Avant-AAPM Scholarship Program attracted a record 59 applications, with a significant number of applicants being nominated by their practice principal.

The scholarships were recently awarded at the 2018 AAPM National Conference in Canberra to practice managers representing general practice, speciality and allied health practices. The scholarship recipients will undertake online practice management courses in health practice management and practice leadership at UNE Partnerships.

As Australia’s leading medical defence organisation – by doctors, for doctors ­– we’re dedicated to empowering practice managers through education and professional development to support their practice to deliver strong and sustainable patient outcomes.

The 2018 Avant-AAPM Scholarship recipients are:

  • Marly Spoddig, practice manager, Doctors of South Melbourne, VIC
  • Jean Cleary, practice manager, Chatswood Road Medical Centre, QLD
  • Bianca Lean, assistant practice manager, The Practice Bundanoon, NSW
  • Kayleigh Thompson, practice manager, Blackrock Medical Management, QLD
  • Kristy Woolley, practice manager, Quirindi Health Centre, NSW

The judging panel comprised two experienced practice managers, Jan Chaffey and Colleen Sullivan, OAM and Marianna Kelly, a practice manager, registered nurse, mediator and Avant Risk Advisor.

An invaluable learning experience

Marly Spoddig, (pictured), a practice manager at Doctors of South Melbourne and an AAPM member, said she was looking forward to completing a Diploma of Professional Practice Leadership at UNE Partnerships next year.

“I was really excited to be chosen as one of the scholarship recipients. I shut the door to my office and did a little celebration dance,” she laughs.

While undertaking a Bachelor of Sport Science at Victoria University, Marly assumed a variety of managerial roles within the health industry. In October 2017, she accepted an office manager role at Doctors of South Melbourne and the daunting responsibility of setting up the new GP clinic.

“One of the main challenges I faced was being new to practice management and dealing with the workload of setting up a new practice while simultaneously managing the day-to-day tasks of running an increasingly busy clinic,” Marly said.

With support from AAPM and their mentoring program, Marly has helped to build the Doctors of South Melbourne from scratch. In recognition of her strong work ethic and leadership skills, she was promoted to practice manager and now manages seven GPs, four receptionists and one practice nurse.

“This scholarship will be an invaluable learning experience and allow me to formalise my knowledge, support the practical aspects of my role and grow further towards being an exceptional practice manager and leader,” Marly said. “Thank you for this incredible opportunity to better myself and my clinic. This is only the beginning and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.”

Owner of Doctors of South Melbourne, Dr Elaine Sung said she nominated Marly for the scholarship because she was “born to be a practice manager.”

“I had a dream of building a caring, evidence-based, quality medical clinic and Marly has helped me create that,” she said. “Being a brand new clinic, there was so much to do, but Marly has shown so much initiative and been incredibly hardworking and enthusiastic.”

“We passed accreditation with flying colours with Marly’s leadership and she has been proactive in building a hardworking and happy workplace culture,” she said. “The scholarship will provide a great framework to support her business intuition and I’m sure the practice will evolve into an established clinic and thrive as a result.”

Sustainable practices

Cathy Baynie, AAPM Director and National President, said the association was proud of its longstanding partnership with Avant.

“A key element is Avant’s ongoing support of the AAPM Scholarship Program which offers AAPM practice managers the opportunity to undertake study to foster and promote continuing training and professional development,” she said. “Avant’s support goes to the heart of AAPM’s mission to provide education to its members to achieve sustainable practices with optimal patient outcomes.”

“It’s great to see scholarship recipients from a breadth of regions across Australia and we look forward to seeing each of them continue to develop in their careers and the profession,” Ms Baynie said.

People leadership in practice

Expanding our support for practice management, we have developed a discussion paper in partnership with AAPM: Practice management: people leadership.

We recognise people leadership is an essential part of practice management and have developed the paper which aims to offer practical solutions on evolving the leadership role of practice managers and features case studies and common scenarios practice managers may face.

More information

Find out more about the Avant-AAPM Scholarship Program.

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