Blacktown doctor scores top prize for emergency medicine exams

Blacktown Hospital Emergency Department Fellow and advanced trainee Dr Waseem Hassan. 

An advanced trainee from Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals has emerged top of the class after sitting a gruelling exam schedule for new doctors.

Blacktown Hospital fellow Dr Waseem Hassan, who works at one of the busiest emergency departments in Western Sydney, has been recognised for achieving the highest score out of 170 candidates from Australia and New Zealand.

It takes about 12-18 months to prepare for the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine’s (ACEM) exam.

Dr Hassan received this year’s prestigious ‘Buchanan Prize’ for topping the exam. It’s the first time a clinician from Blacktown or Mount Druitt hospitals has been recognised by ACEM for such exceptional performance.

The Ponds father of two said he studied between 8-12 hours per day while working 4-6 days a week.

“It is a fantastic feeling to know all my work and the sacrifices of my family have been recognised and rewarded,” Dr Hassan said.

“To prepare for these exams I sacrificed lots of family time which was really hard. I felt like I was not able to give them enough of my time.

“I have been very fortunate to have a fantastic support group of mentors and consultants at both Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital emergency departments.

“To rise up to their expectations and return with this award to acknowledge their input of time and effort is very satisfying.”

Dr Hassan said he hopes to be a role model and encourage high performance in staff.

“The work we do in the emergency department is amazing, we save lives and comfort the sick and that is never easy,” Dr Hassan said.

“I encourage other training emergency department clinicians to not give up. The work environment is challenging, but fear of failure should not prevent you from excelling and achieving your goals.”

A $700 million expansion project has finalised at Mount Druitt Hospital and stage 2 of the redevelopment at Blacktown is almost complete. Stage 2 will include a new emergency department for Blacktown Hospital with more emergency and short stay beds and a new psychiatric emergency care service. Mount Druitt Hospital’s ED expanded as part of stage 1 of this project, featuring a new resuscitation bay, a refurbished procedure room and a new ambulance bay. Stage 2 will also include a new intensive care unit, eight new operating theatres, purpose-built wards for expanded birthing, maternity, women’s health and newborn care and more.

For further information about the hospital redevelopment, visit