James Cook University academic Professor Peter Leggat was recently elected as the Inaugural Dean of Education of The Australasian College of Aerospace Medicine.
The College is responsible for accreditation and continuing professional development of specialists in aerospace medicine in Australia and New Zealand.
Aerospace medicine includes aviation and space medicine, the fields of medicine concerned with the maintenance of health, safety and performance of all those involved in aviation and space travel, in particular pilots and aircrew, but also those involved in spaceflight.
The Inaugural Dean of Education will be responsible for promoting the academic credentials of the College, and fostering relations with other academic bodies.
Professor Leggat, who has worked in aviation and travel medicine for many years, is Professor and Head of the School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences at JCU.
“The foundation of this College is a landmark event in aviation and aerospace medicine globally,” Professor Leggat said.
The College was established in late 2011 and the secretariat is based in Victoria. The College Board includes specialists in aerospace medicine from around Australia and New Zealand.
“The role of Dean of Education will be a challenging one in terms of maintaining the highest standards for doctors working in this field,” Professor Leggat said.
“I was surprised to be approached to undertake the role of Dean of Education of this new medical College, but honoured to be part of this exciting development.”
Professor Leggat helped to found the popular Aeromedical Retrieval postgraduate course at JCU in 2007, which is run in conjunction with Careflight Queensland and MedStar South Australia.
He also founded the Australian Postgraduate Travel Medicine course, which has been conducted at JCU for more than 20 years.
Professor Leggat said that there were natural synergies between aerospace and travel medicine, as the latter entailed the prevention and management of health problems of international travellers.
Professor Leggat is a highly respected medical educator, who has been teaching medical and other health science students for nearly 30 years.
In 2007, he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators. In 2012, he received the J Peter Cunliffe Transportation Award from the World Safety Organization in recognition of his contributions to aviation and travel medicine and safety.
First published 5 March, 2013