The Robin Mitchell Medic One Fellowship
Dr Robin Gordon Mitchell - MBChB, MRCP, FFAEM, FACEM
Emergency medicine specialist and Director of Training at Auckland City Hospital, died peacefully in Mercy Hospice, Auckland, New Zealand on 7th July 2010 from pancreatic cancer. He leaves a wife Jo and daughter Abigail.
Robin was born in Lanark, Scotland on 9th September 1964. He was educated at Hardy School in Dorchester and represented the school in many sports including cricket and swimming. He returned to Scotland as an undergraduate at Edinburgh University where he excelled academically. He was also selected for the Scotland U21 rugby squad.
Robin completed his MRCP before training in emergency medicine in Edinburgh. He was appointed to his first consultant post in Christchurch Hospital, gaining his FACEM in November 1999, and meeting Jo, his wife. He spent a short time in Western Australia, before returning to Edinburgh as a consultant in January 2002. Shortly after returning to Edinburgh, Robin and Jo had a daughter, Abigail. Robin rapidly cemented his growing reputation as an outstanding clinician and an inspirational educator. He developed the first high fidelity simulator based course in Scotland dealing with medical emergencies. Robin became Training Programme Director and Regional Specialty Advisor for the South East Scotland Emergency Medicine training scheme, and led the regional implementation of the European Working Time Directive and acute care common stem training. Robin and family, as was always his stated aim, returned to New Zealand in 2007 and took up a post in the Emergency Department at Auckland City Hospital. Robins parting reference from Edinburgh indicated he was “the best emergency physician they had ever seen”.
Robin worked in Auckland for three short years before his terminal illness, but in that time had more than a career’s worth of influence. With his interest in prehospital care, he quickly developed a strong relationship with Auckland Rescue Helicopter, providing training and clinical support to the paramedics and constructing the educational framework for a retrieval programme. He was quickly appointed as Director of Emergency Medicine Training, and immediately became a role model to the region’s trainees and inspired a collegiate approach to training across Auckland.
Robin loved life and threw himself into everything he did, including his legendary unique loose-limbed dancing style. Naturally inclusive, he resolved interpersonal or interdepartmental conflicts with intelligence, clarity and tact. He employed the same cool head in the resuscitation room, leading with a calmness borne out of being three steps ahead of everyone else in the room and a complete quiet confidence based on a set of very slick practical skills and encyclopaedic knowledge. He could deliver on the spot “state-of-the-art” tutorials on almost any subject (including the nature of chemical bonds, the lyrics to 1980s disco hits, and pasta making in addition to the entire spectrum of emergency medicine practice) without warning, under pressure and with infectious enthusiasm. He was an astonishingly good diagnostician based on experience and an encyclopaedic knowledge of basic principles.
He had a saying engraved on his ipod, which reads, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”. This saying meant a lot to Robin as he coped with his illness, but it typified the man himself, in that he consistently and unfailingly showed the way a positive attitude could change a shift, change a department, change a patient’s life. He was an extraordinary man, and the specialty has lost one of its true heroes.
This fellowship will be awarded to the Scottish Trainee who can most closely grasp and deliver the values that Robin held so dear, and embodied in his daily practice.
2016 Robin Mitchell Fellowship
It is with great pleasure that I can announce that the award of the Robin Mitchell Medic 1 Fellowship 2016 has been made to Dr Gillian Pickering.
As the Robin Mitchell Fellow, Gillian will travel to Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital to gain a unique experience of the use of USS in paediatric cases with a particular focus in trauma cases. This will complement her current role training in Paediatric Emergency Medicine at RHSC in Edinburgh.
I am equally delighted to be able to announce the offer of two Robin Mitchell Bursaries to Dr Christopher Edmunds and Dr Tim Wright. Christopher, who is currently an ST3 EM trainee in NHS Grampian, is planning to travel to Starship Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, to experience paediatric ICU and retrieval services. Tim, who is currently an ST5 EM trainee in NHS Lothian, is planning to travel to Perandeniya, Sri Lanka, to experience the broad range of toxicological presentations in central Sri Lanka.
Dr Angela Oglesby
The Robin Mitchell Medic 1 Fellowship - Previous Recipients
Robin Mitchell Medic One Fellowship 2016
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
Robin Mitchell Medic One Fellowship 2014
Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Oslo
Robin Mitchell Medic One Fellowship 2014
Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
Robin Mitchell Medic One Fellowship 2012
Shock Trauma - Baltimore