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Clean bill of health for leading medical centre

16 Oct 2007 8:11 AM - Sunshine Coast Daily

LASMA television sets, a DVD library with a host of Disney classics for the kids, coffee machines for the grown-ups, modern artwork and upbeat staff are not necessarily things you associate with a medical practice.

But Medicine on Second is clearly not your average medical centre. In fact, the general practice, which has a flagship centre on Second Avenue at Maroochydore and another in Forest Glen, has just taken out the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ (RACGP) Queensland General Practice of the Year Award for 2007.

Dr Michael Ryan and partner Dr Roger Morris moved from Plaza Parade into the new purpose-built premises in July last year, and expanded the business to include what was a vacant, two-doctor facility at Forest Glen in February.

Medicine on Second, founded by Mr Ryan in Ocean Street in 1991, was a recent finalist in the Queensland Small Business Champions Awards and is also a finalist in the Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Awards to be held next month.

But Mr Ryan said being named the best general practice in the state was fantastic.

“To be recognised for having a good business is good, because you’ve got to consider your practice as a business or you’ll go broke,” he said.

“But to be recognised on your performance by your peers is exceptional.”

The judging panel assessed nominated practices on their general work, the commitment of the practice to accreditation, the standard of facilities offered to patients and staff and services offered to the local community.

Mr Ryan paid credit to the other 10 doctors, five nurses, practice manager Nicky Jardine and eight reception and admin staff who he said all played a significant role in the award recognition.

“We try to run it like a co-op as much as possible ... all the doctors have input to the operation of the practice,” he said.

“We put a lot of focus on customer service. We survey our patients to find out what they want from their doctor and our reception staff always check with patients while they’re waiting to make sure they’re okay.

“It’s also very important to have a good, proactive practice manager.”

But it’s not only what happens inside Medicine on Second that makes it stand out.

Mr Ryan started Hawaiian Shirt Day in February to raise money for skin cancer research at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and the practice also supports the Angel Garden at the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital at Buderim.

Michael’s wife Cheryl, a naturopath who is now studying for a degree in accounting and financial planning, is also involved, establishing the Maggie’s Dreamcatcher charity to raise funds for the construction of a hopsital in Dharamsala in northern India.

Michael also said he envisioned Medicine on Second becoming an integral part of a medical hub, with plans in place to establish an allied health facility in an adjoining premises fronting Maud Street, and adding a radiology and pathology practice
on an adjoining site on Second Avenue within a few months.

“I think we’ve got a great opportunity here to create a significant medical precinct,” he said.

And as for the practice itself, Michael said the team was already looking at going one better and taking out the national award in 2008.

For more information about Maggie’s Dreamcatcher, go to: www.whoisgeorge.com.au