John Sands Medal

Nominations for 2025 open 15 June to 30 September 2024.

The John Sands Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of the RACP. This award provides an opportunity to recognise the substantial and influential contribution the award recipient has made.

This prestigious prize, made possible by a bequest from the late Dr John Sands, is awarded by the RACP annually at the College Ceremony.

Professor Michael Shanahan | 2024 recipient

michael-shanahanMichael Shanahan is the director of the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) rheumatology service based in Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia.

Michael is dual qualified as a rheumatologist and occupational physician and a registered and practicing general physician. He leads a busy clinical department that services the rheumatological needs of around 400,000 South Australians.

Michael also works at Flinders University where he has an active role in teaching and supervising medical students and higher degree students. His research is mainly in the areas of musculoskeletal medicine and medical education.

His service roles to the Australasian College of Physicians include two periods on the Adult Training Committee (ATC) for rheumatology  including 9 years as chairperson. He has also served for 9 years on the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental (AFOEM) Board of Censors/Adult training Committee including 6 years as Chief Censor /Chairperson.

See our past John Sands Medal recipients


A nominee must be an Australian or Aotearoa New Zealand Fellow of an RACP Division, Faculty and/or Chapter.

A nominee must not:

  • self-nominate
  • be a current RACP Board member
  • be a current RACP staff member
  • have held the office of President of the RACP
  • be a past recipient of the John Sands Medal

Any RACP Fellow or trainee can nominate an eligible RACP Fellow. 


Read the Terms and Conditions for College meritorious awards and prizes by nomination before applying.

Inform the nominee of your intention to submit a nomination.

Submit a completed nomination form addressing the selection criteria to together with:

  • CV of the nominee
  • 2 letters of support
  • other relevant supporting documentation (optional)

Note: A nomination is not complete and cannot be progressed unless all required documentation is received.

Download nomination form (DOC)

The College Conflicts of Interest Policy (PDF) and Privacy Policy apply.

Selection criteria

The assessment of the nominee's contribution in relation to others is an essential part of the nomination.

In your nomination, you must detail the contributions of the nominee and how they have meaningfully impacted the RACP and its activities against all of the selection criteria:

1. Contribution to the College

How has the nominee made a significant and sustained contribution to the welfare of the RACP, its member and staff?

2. Professional Leadership

What evidence is there of the nominee's outstanding leadership through their primary roles and contributions on Working Groups and/or Committees within the RACP?

3. Advocacy

How has the nominee performed significant advocacy on behalf of the RACP and/or its members of the College in policy, research or other areas of importance?

4. Representation

In what ways has the nominee played an integral role in one or more of these areas?:

  • Representing the RACP and its members in the international arena and/or international affairs
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships and/or collaborations with international or domestic organisations on behalf of the RACP and its members
  • Promoting the RACP within Australia and/or Aotearoa New Zealand
5. Teaching and professional education to future and current physicians

What evidence is there of the nominee demonstrating:

  • leadership and innovation in teaching and professional education to RACP trainees?
  • a significant commitment to mentoring and training current trainees?
  • a significant commitment to improving educational standards and methodology?

Selection process

The RACP Fellowship Committee reviews all nominations and recommends a deserving recipient to the RACP Board.

The RACP Board reserves the right not to award the John Sands Medal if they feel the recommendation and/or all nominations presented do not meet the high standards required for this award.

For more information about The John Sands Medal, contact the RACP Foundation.

Related content

Terms and conditions
Past prize recipients
College and Congress prizes

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