Associate Professor Bernard Champion is Head of the Discipline of Endocrinology at MQ Health and Stage 1 Lead of the Macquarie MD Course in the Department of Clinical Medicine. Bernard has recently initiated a ‘Doctors in Training’ teaching program at MQU with the aim of upskilling Doctors in Training with clinical teaching knowledge and skills

How will the DIT program benefit MQU students? 

Not only will the program increase the pool of trained clinical educators but prove a ‘differentiator’ for our courses by directly involving skilled and supervised near-peer teachers in MD training.  We hope the program will improve student satisfaction and achievement.  Such programs can also successfully impact on patient outcomes. 

Assoc Professor Bernard Champion

What motivates Bernard to do what he does? 

Bernard appears to have boundless levels of energy and enthusiasm for teaching.  In response to this question, he simply states, “I enjoy sharing knowledge with others, and empowering others with inspiration and skills/ tools to improve, succeed and excel.” 

What do students like about your teaching? 

In 2018 Bernard won a Faculty student-led award for ‘most engaging teacher’.  It is astounding that a busy clinician with a consulting suite at Nepean,  Blacktown and MQ Health Clinic can also take such a great interest in students; teaching in a way that prompts students to nominate him for an award!  Bernard believes students value his teaching because he displays a combination of content expertise, enthusiasm for teaching and personality through judicious use of ‘humour’.   To the last point, he shrugs and comments, “I don’t take myself too seriously as either an ‘expert’ or a ‘teacher’. I actually enjoy mixing with and learning from students”.  I’ve seen Bernard teaching and can corroborate this last comment.  Bernard is relaxed, explicit and engaging in the classroom, providing a targeted but varied delivery stamped with his own enigmatic personality.

What are you most proud of about your teaching? 

Bernard’s approach to teaching involves intuitively distilling a large body of knowledge obtained through study and experience and communicating it in an accessible form to his students.  He makes teaching look effortless. 

His proudest (but as yet incomplete) achievement is playing his part in a large and dynamic team to create and roll out a modern, innovative, unique and high-quality medical program at Macquarie University.  Of his past achievements, Bernard is most proud of his endocrine trainees who are now high-quality endocrinologists.

What teaching advice do you have for junior members of staff? 

To this question, Bernard instantly replies, “Keep it simple; don’t be scared to teach; it makes you stronger!”  I’ve also heard Bernard state to ‘Doctors in Training’ participants: “make sure that you have an interest outside of work”. Bernard then went on to describe his struggle with a ‘crowing’ rooster on his lap at 4 am that morning and why he loves chicken husbandry.  Go figure!

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Posted by Lyn Collins

Senior Instructional Designer in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

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