“Dr Abeysekera’s commitment and leadership has gone above and beyond, with countless hours devoted to supporting and encouraging younger doctors on a voluntary basis,” Professor Robson said.
“This award recognises Dr Abeysekera’s work, including making research opportunities more accessible to junior doctors by assisting in re-establishing the AMAQ JDC research programs, advocating for the mental health of junior doctors, teaching intern doctors and serving as a clinical coach for medical students at University of Queensland.
Dr Abeysekera has been a doctor in training in the Queensland health system for four years and has a keen interest in improving the lives and mental health of junior doctors. She helped to develop the Self-Care September program.
In Spring 2021 her article surrounding this topic was published in the AMA DoctorQ magazine. The article ‘100 years of physician suicide: call for action’ led to the Queensland Health Wellbeing Summit, where her recommendation for the mental health and wellbeing to be a legislative requirement for hospitals and health services was first adopted by the then Minister for Health Yvette D’Ath MP.
Dr Abeysekera has held various leadership positions, including Co-Chair and Deputy Chair on the AMA (Qld) Council of Doctors in Training during the COVID-19 pandemic and has volunteered for the Queensland Medical Women’s Society as Treasurer and Lead of Digital Communications, co-ordinating its regular newsletter and leading advocacy efforts.
She has written several articles for MJA InSight, including a call for action for physician wellbeing, and promoted women in medical leadership.
Professor Robson congratulated the other hard-working doctors in training who were nominated for the award.
“Each nominee should take with them a sense of achievement and personal pride that stems from their excellent work as an advocate for doctors in training and improved health care outcomes.