Chronic pain campaigner receives national honour

Associate Professor Ray Garrick a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to medicine in the field of chronic pain management.

02 February 2015

Ensuring medicine students across the country have a better understanding of chronic pain when they enter practice is a core focus of the Head of the St Vincent's and Mater Clinical School at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney, and 2015 Order of Australia Member, Associate Professor Ray Garrick AM.

Associate Professor Garrick became a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2015 for significant service to medicine in the field of chronic pain management and to medical education as an academic.

"This honour will hopefully bring the great work of the School of Medicine, Sydney, to public light. We are extremely proud of students and graduates who are starting to make their way in the world of medicine. If one can be an example to them, then this is further fulfilment," Associate Professor Garrick said.

Associate Professor Garrick's contribution to pain medicine has spanned many years. Since becoming a member of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia in 1982, he has held numerous roles in academia and in the health care sector.

In 1999, after the establishment of the Faculty of Pain Medicine at the Australasian College of Anaesthetists, Associate Professor Garrick gained Fellowship of the Faculty and shortly after became the representative on the Faculty for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Associate Professor Garrick continues to advocate for better pain management of patients with chronic pain and hopes to improve the education of doctors and health care professionals in this important area.

"My ongoing task is to establish and coordinate an online integrated undergraduate pain management program that can be used by all medical schools and undergraduate students," Associate Professor Garrick said.

"So far, we have utilised this program that many of my colleagues collaborate on to provide a College of General Practitioners self-assessment pain program which can now be accessed by a number of training institutions. The work is ongoing and will help to round out each senior medical student's experience and give them confidence that they can manage painful conditions in their future hospital or community practice."

Professor Christine Bennett, Dean of the School of Medicine, Sydney, said Associate Professor Garrick's work in the area of pain management as a researcher, teacher and clinician was inspiring.

"His caring and determination have combined with rigorous research and clinical leadership to make a difference and bring hope to the millions of Australians suffering from pain every year. Ray richly deserves the acknowledgement and recognition of this award," Professor Bennett said.

Professor Celia Hammond, Vice Chancellor, said research to improve pain management closely aligned with the mission of the University and its School of Medicine.

"Associate Professor Raymond Garrick has dedicated his career to chronic pain management and research, and has played a significant role in bringing this critical health issue to public attention. He thoroughly deserves this special recognition for meritorious service to Australia and its people," Professor Hammond said.

Notre Dame launched The Churack Chair of Chronic Pain Education and Research in 2013, thanks to the generosity and vision of Geoff and Moira Churack. The initiative will see Notre Dame Medicine students have access to first-hand training into the management of chronic pain and its effects.

Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093;