Teaching excellence at Western recognised by Ingham Institute

Dr Vincent Ho, from the School of Medicine, is passionate about educating his patients, clinical students and the general public about gut health. His contagious passion was this month recognised with an Excellence in Teaching Award at the 2020 Ingham Institute Research Excellence Awards.

Dr Ho is a Senior Lecturer and Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist at Camden and Campbelltown Hospitals. He was nominated for the award by his clinical students who noted his innovative use of virtual 3D animations to visualise gut physiology. Dr Ho said he developed the resources after a student commented on how helpful it would be.

“I took this feedback on board and developed a number of 3D virtual animations to explain some of the wonders of the working gut. I try to make a special effort to actively immerse students in the clinical learning experience by giving them opportunities to problem solve, integrate basic science and clinical knowledge, and promote direct engagement with my patients. At the same time, it’s important to provide close supervision and timely feedback which the students do appreciate.

“Clinical teaching is critically important because we need to enable our students to learn effectively from our patients so that one day they can provide the very best care for them,” said Dr Ho.

Dr Ho’s teaching is not limited to the classroom. It extends to the community where he is an avid communicator of medical information – often appearing on the ABC and writing for The Conversation – as well as producing accessible resources such as his own website, awareness campaigns and 'Gut Dr' YouTube Channel.

“As a gastroenterologist, I find people are really fascinated by the gut. I have become a passionate advocate of providing education on the science of the gut and how it impacts on our wellbeing. I feel that with good education people can be empowered to take proactive steps to improve their gut health,” he said.

Dr Ho acknowledged and thanked the students who nominated him for the award, saying that it is the students that help drive him to do the very best he can: “I want the students to know that as clinical teachers, every time we create a clinical learning opportunity for them we find it different, sometimes challenging but always rewarding.”


15 December 2020

Emma Sandham, Senior Media Officer