Cowra doctor John McLaren has been honoured for his dedication to the medical profession, on Monday being named a recipient of a Medal in the Order of Australia.
Dr McLaren said receiving the award was the last thing on his mind.
“I’m humbled, I’m not sure what else I can say,” he said.
“I just like to do my job and do it the best I can.”
Dr McLaren has been a General Practitioner in Cowra, since 1976.
He acted as a visiting General Practitioner at Cowra Hospital from 1976 until 2010 and still practices as a doctor from the Cowra Medical Centre in Kendal Street.
“I’ve been here for 41 years and obviously I like Cowra, it’s a great place to have a family and kids and a happy work environment with supportive colleagues and that’s what has made it attractive,” he said.
“I worked up at the hospital for nearly 35 years and the main work that I’ve been doing recently is geriatrics.
“The other special area of work I’ve been doing is Vietnam Veterans Health, because I did my National Service in the 1960’s and seeing what happened to the men who went to Vietnam and seeing the lack of support they got has given me an interest in looking after them ever since.”
Dr McLaren said the work environment had kept him in Cowra and was probably what attracted other doctors to the town.
“There’s always been a problem bringing doctors to the bush,” he said.
“But I’ve never considered moving, in the early days I did some traveling but no place was ever as good as Cowra.
“I think it’s because the doctors in their working environment are working so well together, it has been the big thing.”
Dr McLaren’s advice for those wanting to become a doctor, was to remain hands on and don’t over rely on technology.
“Technology has been a wonderful thing as far as medicine goes, but I think the young ones over rely on it,” he said.
“It’s a hands on job and I think that’s missing a little bit, they spend more time at the technology then the patient in front of them, they need to be hands on.”