Neurologist Dr Michelle Kiley has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, becoming a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Dr Kiley, the director of epilepsy services at Royal Adelaide Hospital, was recognised for “significant service to neurology, and to professional associations”.
The president of the Epilepsy Society of Australia from 2015 to 2018 and treasurer of ANZAN between 2010 and 2016, Dr Kiley said she was thrilled at the “unexpected” honour.
After a career spanning over than three decades and counting, she told the limbic it was the bread and butter work of patient care that made her most proud.
“I really value my professional relationship with my patients, I never take their trust for granted and I am delighted to have known so many people over such a long period of time,” she said.
“But I’m also equally proud of the role I’ve played in the mentorship and education of many young trainees. It’s been wonderful over the years to see so many careers blossom.”
Dr Kiley said she herself had fallen into the specialty almost by accident, crediting a chance conversation with one of her teachers in high school with convincing her to take up medicine in the first place.
“Then as a student I chose a clinical rotation in neurology mostly because I was frightened of it and didn’t feel confident in the subject matter,” she recalled.
“So I did it to get the monkey off my back and fell in love.”
“I was attracted to the diagnostic challenges and the eclectic nature of the specialty, getting to look after such a broad field of disease.”
A keen squash player, cyclist and golfer, she said maintaining a work-life balance had kept her going, along with the inspiration she drew from her involvement in professional associations.
“You get to know so many of your colleagues, and spend time promoting research, putting scientific programs together and overseeing education and training,” she said.
“It’s time consuming and involves a lot of hard work, but it’s also quite rewarding.”