Professor Michelle Leech inducted into Monash Honour Roll

Professor Claire Palermo and Professor Michelle Leech.

Congratulations to Professor Michelle Leech inducted into the Monash Honour Roll 2022.

Head of the Medical Course at Monash University and Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor Leech received her MBBS (Hons) from Monash University. After residency training in Internal Medicine at Prince Henry’s Hospital, Melbourne, she completed her advanced physician training at Monash Health.

She undertook a PhD at the Monash University Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, which examined the role of the cytokine MIF in the neuroendocrine regulation of inflammation. Her research interests include cytokine biology, glucocorticoid action and cell cycle proteins in the context of rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis.

Michelle has held many teaching roles in Medicine at Monash Health including Director of Physician Training as well as teaching roles at Monash University and is widely regarded to be among the nation’s most respected medical educators. She has received a number of awards including the Australian Medical Students Association National Teaching award in 2014 and is a recipient of Health Workforce Australia funding to develop Health Science Interprofessional Learning (IPL) opportunities across disciplines at Monash University and Monash Health.

Under her leadership, she has achieved extraordinary outcomes, including transforming the degree from a bachelor-level degree to now MD, ranked by graduates for the last two years as one of the leading medical schools in Australia. The Medical Student Outcome Database shows that Professor Leech is working with colleagues in medical schools to address workforce shortages in rural areas with data showing that Monash University's “Preparedness for Practice” sits at 94% compared with 74% nationally, and “Satisfaction with the course” at 95% compared with 72% nationally. One-quarter of Monash medical graduates express a preference to work in rural centres.

Professor Leech is the Head of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinic at Monash Health, Australia’s largest rheumatology service, where she continues to supervise student research projects as well as specialist trainees and publishes regularly in both education and rheumatology literature at a high level of quality. She remains one of Australia’s most respected key opinion leaders in Rheumatology.

Professor Leech received the Australian Medical students teaching prize in 2014. She is the outgoing chair of the Clinical Examination Committee of the RACP National Exam Panel of the College of Physicians and was the Medical Director of Arthritis Australia in 2014 and continues as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee. She is the Vice President of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand, Board Chair of the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria and Chair of the Medication Safety and Therapeutics Committee at Monash Health.

“I have been at Monash one way or another for 35 years doing my medical degree and PhD and commencing my academic journey here. I love what Monash stands for. I really feel I belong here.  I feel that Monash is full of people who don’t rest on their laurels but are always trying and questioning. Compared to other universities there seems to be a higher quotient of people who take their roles and goals seriously without taking themselves too seriously. It’s a true honour to be recognised by a place like this!” said Professor Leech.

Professor Leech joins an esteemed list of inductees to the Monash Honour Roll.