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Professor Kerryn Phelps AM is President of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association. Known to many as "Dr Kerryn", she has been a familiar face to many Australians since the 1980s. Since that time she has appeared regularly on television, radio and in the print media informing the Australian public on a wide range of health issues. She is particularly focused on bringing the message of integrative medicine, public health and human rights issues to the public at large.
She travels frequently to speak to health professionals and to the general public on all aspects of health, wellbeing, the health system and human rights, as well as leadership and strategy for professional organisations.
In May 2000, she was elected Federal President of the Australian Medical Association, becoming the first woman to head this organisation and serving a maximum term of three years. During her presidency, Prof. Phelps focused attention on important issues in the health system, including:
- Establishing an advisory committee on complementary and alternative medicine to develop a position statement on behalf of the medical profession.
- Developing a position statement on climate change and human health.
- Highlighting the medical indemnity crisis and working closely with Federal and State governments towards a solution.
- Commissioning a far-reaching report into the Australian medical workforce which ultimately proved that there was a severe shortage of doctors and changing the way the government plans for the medical workforce of the future.
- Developing a report card on indigenous health.
- Encouraging discussion of the role of the health system in response to bioterrorism.
In 2003 Prof. Phelps was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to Health and Medicine. That same year she was appointed Adjunct Professor in Public Health and General Practice at Sydney Medical School.
In 2010 she was appointed Conjoint Professor in Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales. She continues to consult with patients at her Sydney clinics.
Prof. Phelps is currently the health writer for the “Australian Women’s Weekly” and writes medico-political commentary for “Medical Observer Magazine”. In 2009 she was the host of the Seven network’s top-rating series “Last Chance Surgery”.
Prof. Phelps has written the first textbook on integrative medicine with co-author Dr. Craig Hassed, released in November 2010. The text book introduces the concept of Integrative Medicine in General Practice – combining medical and complementary therapies with lifestyle to achieve the best possible health outcomes for patients.
In June 2011 Professor Phelps was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her services to Medicine.