RECEIVING one of the nation's top honours doesn't mean Bendigo doctor Adel Asaid will be giving himself permission to slow down.
The new Medal of the Order of Australia recipient said the honour only motivated him to do more for his country.
"I was so excited proud, humbled; not just for me but for everyone," he said.
"You feel like this country has given you so much but you haven't done much yet. You'll have to do more."
Dr Asaid and his wife Zizette arrived in Australia from Egypt in 1988 and came to Bendigo in 1990.
The couple chose Australia as their new home to be closer to family and for the Australian lifestyle.
Despite not knowing where the town was when Dr Asaid was first offered a position in Bendigo, the couple settled into life in central Victoria and are now well known and loved members of their community.
Opening his first clinic in Elmore in 1998 was the highlight of his career in Australia, he said. The community had been without a doctor for four years.
"There were two nuns at the convent; one was praying for rain, the other was praying for a doctor," he said.
"We thought the one praying for rain didn't have much hope but we could help out with the doctor."
After the success of that clinic, Dr Asaid was approached to open a second facility in Boort.
He went on to open clinics in Rochester, Heathcote, Rushworth and Strathfieldsaye and now works alongside 26 other doctors.
Dr Asaid estimated he travels an average of 150 kilometres a day between his clinics, seeing patients and supporting his clinics' doctors.
He paid tribute to his partners and his wife Zizette.
"In general practice, you can't achieve anything yourself," he said.
"You need to have support."
He said working in general practice was a fulfilling vocation.
"We like to have an impact in people's lives. You're part of the community," he said.
You're the one they trust, the one they talk to, the confessional father.Adel Asaid
"Suddenly you have a big family. They appreciate you. You're the one they trust, the one they talk to, the confessional father. It's a huge responsibility."
The Asaid family are active members of their Coptic church which Dr Asaid crediting with affording them a "peaceful stability".
Dr Asaid's two sons Raf and Mina have followed in their father's footsteps into medicine.