2024 | Volume 25 | Issue 3

Sharon Jay


Dr John Corboy (1969-2007) was elected Chair of the RACS Trainees' Association (RACSTA) in 2007. He was a great leader and a selfless representative of RACS Trainees. He generously gave his peers his time and wisdom. His energetic service to the profession and his tenacious passion for surgery despite personal adversity was remarkable.

This distinguished award for surgical Trainees commemorates Dr John Corboy's achievements and recognises exceptional service by other Trainees. The John Corboy Medal is awarded annually to a Trainee who demonstrates the characteristics for which Dr Corby was admired—outstanding leadership, selfless service, tenacity, and service to Trainees of the College.

Multiple nominations and letters of support described these as the qualities of the 2024 recipient Dr Sharon Jay. At the time of nomination, Dr Jay was a General Surgery Trainee at Ōtautahi Christchurch Hospital and has since taken a Fellowship position at Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge, England.

Dr Jay originally began her training career in Neurosurgery before transferring to General Surgery. She joined the RACSTA Committee as the Aotearoa New Zealand Trainee representative in 2020 and in 2022 was elected Chair during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She demonstrated exemplary strength and leadership during this challenging time.

Dr Jay led the RACSTA Committee with compassion, pragmatism, efficiency and strength. Despite the demands of surgical training, especially in her final year, Dr Jay never let her focus sway from actively advocating for Trainees. Described as a driving force and her legacy includes the uncoupling of the Fellowship exam, enabling exams during COVID-19, and financial hardship assistance for Trainees.

A guiding light and source of empowerment, according to her peers, Dr Jay encourages, mentors and motivates. She is a true asset to the surgical community.

An Aotearoa New Zealand native, she was fittingly  awarded the medal in the city where she spent much of her training. RACS president, Associate Professor Kerin Fielding presented Dr Jay with the award at the 2024 Ōtautahi Christchurch ASC Trainee and Younger Fellows dinner alongside 2023 recipient Dr Shiv-Karan Chopra.

Nominations for the 2025 John Corboy Medal are open from 1 June to 31 July 2024. Fellows, Trainees and SIMGs are encouraged to nominate a Trainee they feel is deserving of this award. Information and a nomination form can be found on the RACSTA webpage.