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General practice is the first point of contact with the health system for patients in New Zealand. It encompasses a broad generalist skill set and scope of practice.

The Department of General Practice and Rural Health is an academic unit within the Dunedin School of Medicine. It was the first university department of general practice in New Zealand, and one of the oldest in the world. The study of general practice at an academic level is about:

  • Understanding the context of general practice within medicine, the primary healthcare sector and the community
  • The practice itself from practitioners' and patients' perspectives
  • The clinical issues commonly managed in general practice
  • Training the next cohort of general practitioners

The Department of General Practice and Rural Health enjoys an active research and teaching culture. We teach undergraduate medical students and have an engaging postgraduate programme which offers diploma, master's, and PhD study opportunities. 

Staff in this department come from a wide variety of disciplines, and are involved in teaching and research in the fields of general practice and primary care. We are an expanding department with health practitioners and social scientists working on issues in primary care that are informed by our multidisciplinary perspective and methodologies.

Ethics is at the heart of general practice and GPs have multiple obligations to patients, governments and communities. Gain insight into your practice with GENA824 Ethics in General Practice in semester two. Please note enrolments close at the end of April.

The course covers codes of practice, medico-legal obligations and practical ethical conundrums in general practice. An initial residential workshop allows immersion in the topic. Web-based resources and regular group communication encourages collegial in-depth learning. Taught from Dunedin.