Mr Damian McMahon was a trauma surgeon who trained in general surgery at the Austin and Repatriation Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria. On completing his training in 1993, he travelled abroad and completed a fellowship in traumatology and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania. On returning to Australia in 1997 he was appointed as a staff specialist at the Canberra Hospital, and shortly after became the Director of the Shock Trauma Service.
Damian was highly regarded both at home and internationally for his clinical skills, academic achievements, and commitment to trauma care in our region. He established the Capital Region Retrieval (helicopter) Service, was the director at the Clinical Skills Centre at the Canberra Clinical School of the University of Sydney, instructed on EMST, CCrISP, and DSTC, served on the RACS Trauma Committee, and was influential in establishing the Australasian Trauma Verification Program.
It was Damian who took leadership in the establishment of ANZAST. The highlight of his presidency was to have been the acknowledgement of the young Association by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST), with an ANZAST free-paper session at their 2012 annual meeting in Hawaii. Unfortunately, Damien passed away suddenly in July that year, while on holiday in Jerusalem with his family. He was 53 years old.
The Damian McMahon Trauma Paper Prize was established in 2014 to commemorate his life, and to reward excellence in trauma research. The $3,000 prize money is awarded annually for the best trauma paper presented by a trainee at the RACS Annual Scientific Congress. The prize is to support the trainee who is obliged to present at the paper competition at the American College of Surgeons Committees on Trauma, Region XVI scientific meeting.
The recipient of the 2017 Damian McMahon Trauma Paper Prize was Dr Adam Philipoff. Dr Philipoff’s paper Cardiac contusions: A comparison of nuclear medicine imagining and transthoracic echocardiography in blunt trauma, was presented at the 2017 ASC in Adelaide. Dr Philipoff went on to present his work at the American College of Surgeons ATLS Region XVI meeting in Manilla, Philippines, on the 7th December 2017.
Region XVI represents the Asia and Pacific regions. The winner of the best paper presentation at this annual meeting is invited to present as part of the resident’s paper competition at the American College of Surgeons Committees on Trauma scientific meeting, held in March.
Past recipients of the Damien McMahon Trauma Paper Prize:
2015: Dr Nikhil Agrawal
2016: Dr Daniel McIlroy
2017: Dr Adam Philipoff
2018: (No eligible candidates)
For further information, including eligibility criteria, click HERE.
It is our aim at ANZAST to support a perpetual fund for the Damian McMahon Trauma Paper Prize for Trainees, and we would gratefully accept any assistance in achieving this. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to this fund, please contact Ms Lyn Journeaux via Lyn.Journeaux@surgeons.org.