IT takes grit to do what Tamworth hospital paediatrician and forensic medicine practitioner, David McDonald, does.
Just as comfortable in the clinic as he is in the court room, Dr McDonald has treated thousands of children in his three-decade career.
Today, he's been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
"If you stay in an area long enough and pass all the exams you suddenly realise you're a specialist," Dr McDonald said.
"I see 20 to 25 sexual assault cases each year and go to court five times a year.
"I think everyone carves out a bit of territory, it's only a tough job if you haven't done enough training, in which case it could be quite terrifying, but I feel confident."
He sees himself as part of a bigger picture of justice, alongside neighbours, families, the defence, prosecution and jury.
In obstetrics and gynaecology, Dr McDonald learned his love of working with children. Years on he largely works to help children with developmental and behavioural problems.
Reflection on his own childhood helped him work with children, he said.
"It's important to see their point of view, as a child you have a limited understanding of why your parents rules make more sense than your planned actions," he said.
"As you grow up you realise there's good reasons for those rules."
Dr McDonald worked at one of the oldest operational hospitals in the word, St Bartholomew, in London.
Built in 1123, the hospital now trains numerous doctors on the site where it was originally founded.
But, Dr McDonald prefers his work in the humble city of Tamworth.
"You can work in a rich part of Sydney and have only wealthy people come to see you," he said.
"But if you see the broad range of humanity, which is more or less what I do, a lot of them don't have money.
"I personally find what I do more interesting than working in private practice, you can make more money doing something boring and find entertainment in a hobby or be fascinated everyday, which is what I've chosen."
Services in regional Australia continue to improve, Dr McDonald said, who plans to retire in the near future and leave paediatrics in the capable hands of the next medical generation.
"Things are getting better all the time, I'm optimistic for the future, when I fall off the perch the place will be fine I think," he said.
The awards recognise exceptional community members.