David Kok has been appointed to the position of Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Pathology at the University of Melbourne.
David began his medical career at the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he completed his junior hospital medical officer years. During this time was when he had his first exposure to academia, assisting with medical student teaching rounds, and quickly realised it was a passion he would be keen to pursue in a more formal manner.
With no defined pathway for those wanting to specialise in medical education at the time, David chose to complete a pure Master of Education degree with a focus on innovative curriculum design and tailored learning methods.
He completed this in 2009 – creating a unique skillset of being a formally trained doctor and teacher. He then combined these through a medical education fellowship at the University of Melbourne's Medical School.
David joined Peter MacCallum in 2010, to undertake specialty training in Radiation Oncology as a registrar. This was also when he began his research career, investigating the role of emerging radiation treatment techniques, including Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy and Stereotactic Radiosurgery on patient outcomes.
Upon completion of his oncology training in 2014, David took up a consultant Radiation Oncologist position at Peter Mac, with a focus on melanoma and skin cancers, alongside an academic role at the University of Melbourne's Medical School.
In 2017 he was appointed the inaugural Course Convenor of the Master of Cancer Sciences, a new degree being delivered in partnership between the VCCC and the University of Melbourne with backing from the state government.
In leading the development of this degree he engaged over 200 local and international cancer experts to share their knowledge, and incorporated many cutting-edge educational methods including interactive case scenarios and virtual reality simulations. It was also delivered in a novel, fully articulated format, meaning students can stack multiple smaller six month certificates at their own pace to work towards the full degree.
Upon its launch in 2019 it made waves as one of the university's fastest growing degrees and has since become acknowledged as a sector-leading degree with numerous national and international accolades.
David has subsequently gone on to lead the development of further learning programs including three microcertifications and two short courses (including Peter Mac's Effective Communication in Health Care module which includes a Virtual Reality component – link to the hub).
In 2020, David was appointed Associate Director of Radiation Oncology – holding the education portfolio – and also Chair of the VCCC's Digital Oncology Learning hub, a $3.6 million educational program funded by the state government.
Most recently in August 2021, David was promoted to Director of Peter Mac's Moorabbin campus – the second largest radiation treatment site in Victoria, second only to Parkville itself – where he is excited to continue to lead the delivery of cutting-edge treatments and hopes to nurture a strong academic culture.
He has also been elected to the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Radiology's Education and Training committee with his term commencing in 2022.