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Fellowship win supports Geriatric research at Concord

Dr Janani Thillainadesan wants to improve care for older people through research.

A doctor standing next to a patient sitting in a wheelchair in a hospital corridor.
SydneyConnect Image: Dr Thillainadesan with one of her patients at Concord Hospital.

Dr Janani Thillainadesan is a Geriatrician at Concord Hospital. 

“I like working with older people because they have so much life experience and such great stories,” she said. 

Her work sees her on the wards each day, interacting with and caring for some of the hospital’s most senior patients. 

She chose her specialty with a view to helping to improve the quality of life of older people.  

Dr Thillainadesan’s efforts to achieve this goal extend beyond day-to-day care as she is also conducting research at Concord that she hopes will better inform how her patients are treated. 

“It’s a privilege to be on clinical service and also working to figure out how we can improve that care,” she said. 

Her work has been given a boost with the news that she has been awarded the 2023 Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Research Establishment Fellowship by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). 

This Fellowship is awarded to further research in the area of diseases associated with ageing and to promote leadership and community spirit within the profession and the community. 

Dr Thillainsdesan’s project, which focuses on how microlearning and social media can be used to help train junior doctors, beat applicants from across Australia and New Zealand to be awarded $50,000 in research funding by the RACP. 

Dr John Cullen, Clinical Director of Aged Health with Sydney Local Health District, said she was a deserving recipient. 

“Dr Thillainadesan is a capable, well trained, enthusiastic, articulate, academic Geriatrician, who is also an active clinician,” he said. 

“Her colleagues in the Concord Department of Geriatric Medicine are delighted by her success.” 

Dr Thillainadesan said she is thrilled to have been chosen for the Fellowship, with the strong culture of research at Concord a positive for both staff and patients. 

“The real-world benefit is that there’s a focus on education and upskilling our workforce, which leads to improved care and better outcomes for our older patients,” she said. 

Her research will contribute to further improving geriatric care in the District, added Dr Cullen, as clinicians look to new technologies to aid them. 

"This is a diverse and vulnerable population with complex needs and it is increasing in size,” he said. 

“We need information as to what works to equip the medical workforce to contribute positively to the care of older people in our hospitals.”