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Magnus Halland, M.D., Ph.D.: Heading back to Australia with a Teacher of the Year award in hand

Dr. Halland (GIED ’14, GIMO ’15), Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, says he’s surrounded by inspiring and experienced teachers in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, which shocked him even more to think he’s worthy of a Teacher of the Year award. “I never expected to get this. It’s truly humbling, given the depth and breadth of teaching experience our GI fellows are exposed to in this unsurpassed division. To know that they see me as one of many they look up to and learn from is incredibly satisfying.

“I never expected to get this. It’s truly humbling, given the depth and breadth of teaching experience our GI fellows are exposed to in this unsurpassed division. To know that they see me as one of many they look up to and learn from is incredibly satisfying.”

“I’ve seen students through medical school, residency and GI fellowship who are now fantastic colleagues. Seeing the growth that occurs on the road to becoming good at medicine reminds me of my own starting point and the teachers who showed me how to be a good doctor.”

A native of Norway, Dr. Halland moved to Australia for medical school. He intended to be there for five years and stayed for 13 — getting more degrees than he’d planned, meeting his wife and having a family.

He cites Ann Duggan, M.D., at the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, New South Wales, with leading him to GI. “I did a rotation with her during medical school, and she had me do research on Barrett’s esophagus, which is now one of my areas of expertise. She was a massive inspiration for where I am now. Going into GI lead me to Nicholas Talley, M.D., Ph.D. (GI ’89), at the University of Newcastle. He’s a Mayo alum and told me I should go to Mayo Clinic for GI fellowship.” [Note: Dr. Talley is a 2020 recipient of a Mayo Clinic Distinguished Alumni Award.]

“I came to Mayo Clinic with an open mind and open arms and stayed when I was offered a staff position.”

Dr. Halland came to Mayo Clinic for a year, applied for two advanced fellowships, figured he’d stay no longer than two years and ended up staying in Rochester for almost a decade. “I came to Mayo Clinic with an open mind and open arms and stayed when I was offered a staff position.”

Australia beckoned, however. Dr. Halland will return to Australia in late 2021 or early 2022 to be closer to family. “I’m returning to Newcastle in South Wales, where I went to medical school,” he says. “I’ll bring with me considerable knowledge I learned at Mayo Clinic and hope that this will be a real contribution to the community.”

“The ability to pass that on to the next generation of learners contributes to my personal satisfaction. I’m grateful for my almost 10 years long connection with Mayo Clinic.”

Dr. Halland says it’s important to recognize the investment that’s been put into each physician by all of their teachers. “The ability to pass that on to the next generation of learners contributes to my personal satisfaction. I’m grateful for my almost 10 years long connection with Mayo Clinic.”

Comments from trainees

  • “Dr. Halland is wonderful at teaching the nuts and bolts of general gastroenterology and esophageal physiology. He has been an innovator in fellow education and provides valuable insights.”
  • “You can always find him excited to teach and open to questions, creating an environment conducive to learning.”
  • “Dr. Halland has remained as approachable as a fellow while exemplifying the clinical mastery, professionalism and values of a Mayo Clinic staff physician. He is an excellent role model for how fellows should interact with patients.”
  • “Watching his art of medicine has taught me much over the years, and I try to incorporate some of his phrases and style into my practice.”
  • “We hope this award serves as a small testament to our unwavering gratitude for his commitment to education as a departing gift to Australia. We wish him well!”

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