A MEDAL named after a well-known West Cork doctor, was presented at the Royal College of Physicians (RCPI) last week.
The inaugural Dr Paule Cotter Medal was awarded to Prof Mary Leader, consultant histopathologist for her outstanding contribution to pathological practice both in Ireland and internationally.
The medal was named as a tribute to the exceptional work and contribution to healthcare of the late Dr Paule Cotter, from Bantry.
Dr Cotter, who passed away in 2017, contributed significantly to pathology practice in Ireland, both in her role as Dean of the Faculty of Pathology at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (1990 – 1993) and particularly as a consultant haematologist at Cork University Hospital.
She graduated in medicine with first class honors from UCC in 1966 and trained in England where she took her MRCP and MRCPath and had her first appointment as a consultant haematologist. She returned to her native Cork, joining the clinical consultant staff in the newly established Cork Regional Hospital, in 1979.
In a citation, the RCPI said that Dr Cotter remained dedicated to haematology/pathology service development and delivery over the years to her retirement. Her patients were at the core of her commitment. She highly valued collegiality and contributed professionally and socially to the consultant medical staff committee, inestimably assisting integration of service delivery within CUH.
‘She was a warm and active mentor, over and above her formal attachment to the medical school at UCC. Her passion and empathy encouraged a new generation of haematologists from among her junior staff, who would in turn take the reins at her retirement,’ added the citation.
‘In so many of these professional roles, Dr Paule Cotter was the first woman to push these boundaries, and always in her own characteristic, generous, considerate and unassuming manner.’
Prof Leader, who was awarded with the medal, is also a Cork native – from Boherbue in North Cork. Her work spans across diagnostic, academic and educational practice. Throughout her long career, she contributed significantly to diagnostic practice in Ireland and has worked energetically to deliver the highest standards.
Tumour pathology, including soft tissue sarcomas, have been her main area of interest and research, for which she was awarded her MD. She has also published extensively.
Prof Leader is responsible for pathology education and the assessment of 350 medical students each year at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland undergraduate medical programme and provides pathology education to the RCSI Medical Schools in Perdana, Malaysia and Bahrain.
In 2014, she received the prestigious National Teaching Hero Award in recognition of her contribution to education.
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