Dr Edward (Ted) Mah
PSM, BM BS, MD, FRACS, FAOrtho.A, GAICD
Doctor Edward (Ted) Mah is the Professor of the College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University of SA and Head of Orthopaedics at Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN). He is the Director at North Adelaide Specialist Centre to provide specialised service in Hand and Microsurgery, as well as Elbow and Shoulder reconstruction surgery.
Dr Edward (Ted) Mah has demonstrated exemplary leadership and enviable devotion to Orthopaedic education, training and patient services; insightful innovation and creativity in the collaboration with other organisations to significantly improve the delivery of health care to local communities; globalise orthopaedic membership, service, teaching, research and fellowship, delivering lasting changes and results that greatly benefit local communities with global impact.
In a career spanning for more than 30 years, Dr Edward (Ted) Mah has worked tirelessly with and for the orthopaedic community both locally and internationally. Dr Mah provided specialised service in Hand and Upper Limb surgery in private practice and in public hospitals. He provides expert care for patients with any Hand and Upper Limb conditions at his rooms on 53 Gover Street, North Adelaide.
Dr Mah founded the Clinical Hand & Upper Limb Fellowship program in Adelaide in 2001, which is accredited by the Australian Orthopaedic Association and Royal Australasian College of Surgeon. To this day, Dr Mah has trained 16 fellows from Australia, Sweden, Malaysia, India and NZ to name a few.
Dr Mah is visionary and dedicated to improve the delivery of health care for South Australia. Under his leadership and collaborative approach, the orthopaedic service at NALHN has continued to improve and out performed other health network. For example, NALHN now performs the largest number of joint replacement in SA. The collaboration with Allied Health resulting in the innovative “Substitution clinics” that has significantly service those patients on chronic waiting list that do not require surgical treatment. Indeed the Substitution clinics initiative has won the SA Minister’s Innovation Award in 2018. Collaborations with geriatrician and anaesthetists has resulted in many innovative and highly effective programs to reduce mortality, early discharge from hospital (reduce length of stay) and improve the wellbeing of the elderly Australians who fractured their hips or needing elective surgery. Not surprisingly LMH now ranked 4th in the ANZ Hip Fracture Registry on many of the KPI’s. Finally the 72 hour stay initiative at Modbury hospital in November 2018 has resulted in significantly more longer stay surgery to be performed at the hospital, directly benefiting patients in the north western suburbs of Adelaide where the locals can now have their surgery at their local hospital, a successful reversal of one of the “Transforming Health” program. All of these important initiatives may be easily modelled and rolled out at other health networks. Indeed these initiatives have attracted widespread media attention and have been featured at many state television stations in 2018.
Dr Mah was credited for the successful promotion and implementation of Federation of Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association (APOA), where he increases the membership from 15 countries (around 2500 members) to 24 countries (around 65,000 members). The immediate impact of such success is the globalisation of orthopaedic training and fellowships, where orthopaedic surgeons from any member country can take part in any national and international meetings and apply for exchange fellowship and fellowship training globally without boarders.
Dr Mah set up the APOA Young Ambassador programme in 2000. This has enabled younger surgeons within each APOA country to attend APOA Congresses, giving them a voice within the Association. Dr Mah also established many exchange Travelling Fellowships between APOA, EFORT (European Federation of Orthopaedics & Traumatology), SICOT (Societe Internationale de Chirurgie Orthopedique et de Traumatologie) and PAOA (Pan Arab Orthopaedic Association), promoting exchange of young surgeons globally. In 2014, Prof Mah instigated the APOA Younger Surgeons Subcommittee. The purpose is to develop their leadership qualities and to encourage the global exchange of ideas, knowledge and collaboration in research, teaching and service amongst younger orthopaedic surgeons across the world.
Dr Mah instituted an APOA Disaster subcommittee immediately after the Nepal earthquake in 2015. This effort pulled aids from India, Australia and Malaysia to support the relief effort in the aftermath. The subcommittee convened again directly after the Kumamoto earthquake in Japan in 2016.
Always active in his field, Dr Mah has published many peer-reviewed papers and has authored 9 book chapters. He is currently Deputy Editor for the Journal of Orthopaedics and Section Editor the Mercer textbook of Orthopaedics & Trauma. He sits on seven Editorial boards. He has been the external examiner for Orthopaedic training for Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and China.
Dr Mah received numerous awards by various Hand Societies, Orthopaedic Associations and Health Departments. The Flinders University of South Australia has acknowledged Prof Mah as one of its distinguished alumni in February 2015. In 2016 Dr Mah was acknowledged for his contribution to establishment a Mentorship programme for medical students at the Flinders Medical School. Dr Mah received SA Health Awards in 2018 and 2019. Dr Mah was honoured with AMA(SA) highest Award in 2019 for “Outstanding Service to Medicine”. In 2020 Australian Day Honour Dr Mah was awarded Public Service Medal for “Outstanding contribution to Public Health in South Australia”.
Finally, Dr Edward (Ted) Mah is also a strong advocate to increase gender balance and female participation in Orthopaedic surgery. One recent example Dr Mah arranged to bring the AOA Road Show to Wilderness School, an all girls school in Adelaide in October 2017, in an attempt to inspire a new generation of women to consider a career in surgery.