Throughout his career, Donald Moss has watched regional medicine evolve, and had a hand in establishing Ballarat as a training post for future doctors.
It was during a surgical training rotation in Ballarat during the 1970s that Mr Moss found a speciality in urology, the study of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system.
So enamoured with the work under Ballarat urologist Ken Neerhut, after completing study in Adelaide and the United States, he returned to Ballarat in 1977 to begin his long career.
Mr Moss was the head of urology at Ballarat Base Hospital from 1985 until 2008, and lectured in urology at University of Melbourne for 39 years until 2016.
He was “lucky to start practice in a time of great change” in his field, as new endoscopic techniques and reconstructive surgery allowed him to assist a wider range of patients.
“To return someone with lifelong incontinence to a life with restored dignity via continence is hugely satisfying, and gave me much pleasure.”
Doctors often work far beyond normal hours, but are rewarded by being able to help people in difficult circumstances.Donald Moss OAM
Mr Moss has received a Medal of the Order of Australia at the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
He said urology has a “tradition of teaching the next generation”, and he had a hand in establishing Ballarat as a post for urology trainees.
Following the creation of Ballarat Urology, and time as the president of Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, Mr Moss’ dedication to improving health continued into retirement.
“After retirement I was able to continue teaching on Pacific Aid trips to nearby countries such as PNG, Tonga, Timor Leste,” he said. “The surgeons working there have become friends and are to be admired for their work in sub-standard facilities.
“Recognition by the OAM award is humbling, but a nice acknowledgement of the development of a surgical specialty in a regional area.”