Prestigious prize awarded to local doctor at WA’s 2021 Rural Health Awards

Campbell WilliamsonNarrogin Observer
Dr Peter Smith standing with his award.
Camera IconDr Peter Smith standing with his award. Credit: Supplied

A Narrogin doctor has been recognised at this year’s WA Rural Health Awards, receiving the prestigious award for procedural GP/district medical officer of the year in honour of his decades of service.

The award recognises medical practitioners who have shown ongoing commitment to providing high-quality specialist anaesthetic, obstetric or surgical services throughout regional WA.

Dr Peter Smith, from the Narrogin Health Service, earned the award for his commitment to obstetric and emergency medical care across the State.

While the award focused on long-term service, Dr Smith has had plenty of intense moments in recent years.

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Just weeks ago, he and his team battled to save the life of a newborn baby and her mother.

“It’s my 10th year (working in Narrogin). Prior to that I was in the Gascoyne and Pilbara, and that was mentioned because I’ve done that work over 20 years or so,” Dr Smith said.

The acknowledgement means Narrogin now has two award-winning doctors.

Dr Peter Smith.
Camera IconDr Peter Smith.

Dr Alan Kerrigan won the same award in 2018 for his work in anaesthetics.

Dr Smith said receiving the award was humbling and an honour, but there were a lot of good doctors who never got the recognition they deserved.

“These awards — there are a lot of good doctors that I’ve met over the years, excellent doctors doing great work, and they’re not nominated,” he said.

“A lot people should be getting awards that don’t.”

Dr Smith worked at Narrogin’s Earl Street Surgery before moving to the hospital.

He also works with the Rural Clinical School of WA, encouraging the next generation of young doctors to come to Narrogin.

“I came here to help with the Rural Clinical School and I’m still involved teaching medical students,” he said.

“We would like more doctors to come here and help out and we’re optimistic that will improve.”

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