Damian McMahon Prize

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 Research Travel Grant 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 at the RACS Annual Scientific Congress by an eligible trainee, and that is deemed to be of a standard to present at the ATLS Region XVI Paper Competition. It is a condition of accepting the prize that the trainee will use the funds to present at the ATLS Region XVI meeting in the same year. The winner of this paper competition is then invited to represent Region XVI at the annual American College of Surgeons Committees on Trauma Residents Paper Competition in March of the following year.

Eligibility Criteria

  • A resident hospital medical officer of house surgeon who has successfully completed the GSSE exam but has not yet applied to SET
  • A resident hospital medical officer or house surgeon who has registered to apply for SET training and has been confirmed as eligible to apply
  • A resident hospital medical officer or house surgeon who has been accepted into a SET program (but has not yet started)
  • A SET trainee
  • A SET trainee Aho has completed SET and subsequently been accepted into the PFET program in Trauma
  • A PFET Program Fellow
  • A PFET Trainee in any other surgical program
  • A non-accredited Trauma Fellow
  • NB: Eligibility for ACS-COT competition: abstracts submitted may have been previously presented but not published as full papers in any peer-reviewed journal.

Past recipients of the Damien McMahon Research Travel Grant

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.

2015: Dr Nikhil Agrawal

2016: Dr Daniel McIlroy

2017: Dr Adam Philipoff

2018: (No eligible candidates)

2019: (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 Research travel Grant, 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 or download a donation form.