Thammasat University – “Professor Dr. Anucha” the first and only doctor in Asia winning the SHEA Mid-Career Scholarship Award 2018

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From the passion in working on the infection researches and make them useful for society without expecting something in return, this is the secrets of the success for Prof. Dr. Anucha Apisarnthanarak, the first Asian doctor who has won the prize from the world SHEA Mid-Career Scholarship Award 2018.

“I was probably lucky to know some secrets, that is the ‘happiness’ in doing without expecting something in return.  We created the benefits to the society and that benefits will return as reward for us.  I called that ‘an eternal happiness’.  If we work happily, it will allow us to continue to work passionately. This is the key to my success.” Prof. Dr. Anucha said.

When it comes to many international medicine awards, we often are unfamiliar with knowing that Asian physicians could won such an award.  We almost forget that we really have many great Asian doctors, especially Thai doctors.  Thammasat Universityand Thai medical are very proud on such an accomplishment. Prof. Dr. Anucha Apisarnthanarak, Chief of Infectious Diseases Division, Faculty of Medicine Thammasat University won SHEA Mid-Career Scholarship Award 2018 from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), association of infection control.  The award was given on October 5, 2018.

Prof. Dr. Anucha Apisarnthanarak, Chief of Infectious Diseases Division, Faculty of Medicine Thammasat University said that the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is an association that take care of infection in hospitals, primarily and responsible for educating doctors around the world on controlling the infectious disease in hospitals. He has been approached to apply for 4 times. From the past statistics, people who won the prize are usually those with an exceptional track record and were doctors in America or Europe.  None of Asian doctors has ever won this award.  The Association will consider the works over the past 15 years and must be of great benefits to society, clearly distinguishable, and be the creation of new knowledge regarding infection prevention in hospitals.

“For me, SHEA Mid-Career Scholarship Award is the greatest and most challenging award because we must compete with doctors around the world. Compared to the U.S., I personally think that our potential is actually much lower.  Nonetheless, we are able to compete with them.  This is a great accompllishment for Thammasat University Hospital”, Prof. Dr. Anucha said.

Many of Prof. Dr. Anucha’s works have been referenced and used extensively such as an infection research done during bird flu outbreak.  His work to control the infection in his children’s school had became a great help in reducing the flu, reducing diarrhea, and reducing hand, foot and mouth disease in the school.  Based on that research, he received the SHEA William Jarvis Award which is the most valuable publication award in the Journal of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the number one journal of Infectious Disease Control in the Hospital.

Prof. Dr. Anucha is committed to continue his research on infection in hospitals, such as prevention of infection post-surgery and drug resistance and improve the air quality in hospitals. He strongly believes and commits to help preventing the patients from getting infected in the hospital.  “When the patients come in the hospital, they must be safe.” he said.

Throughout his medical years, Prof. Dr. Anucha has done several researches which benefit to Thai societies regarding the infections control.  In 2011 when the massive floods occurred, Thammasat University at Rangsit Campus and Thammasat University Hospital were also affected.  Prof. Dr. Anucha had made the records of all information related to infection diseases during the flooding.  His works were shared and referenced by many hospitals, domestically and internationally.