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Otago academic voted president-elect of College of GPs

Thursday 29 November 2018 10:15am

Dr Samantha Murton.

Dr Samantha Murton, a senior lecturer at the University’s Wellington campus, has been voted president-elect of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGPs).

She is just the third female GP to be elected president in the College’s 45-year history.

As a GP in an inner city medical practice and a senior lecturer and trainee intern convenor in the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice, Dr Murton hopes to build closer collaboration between the University research community and GPs working at the coalface.

“My University role will make those linkages a lot stronger and enable us to bridge the gaps.”

Dr Murton is looking forward to being the public representative of New Zealand’s GP workforce, particularly as the profession enters a time of change.

“General practice is at a crossroads,” she says. “We are moving into a new era of electronic consultations and broader reach of healthcare providers in the community and more healthcare being delivered in the community and so I would like to see those changes go forward and be one of the champions of that.”

"My University role will make those linkages a lot stronger and enable us to bridge the gaps."

As the author of the RNZCGPs document on Self Care, Dr Murton is aware that some of her colleagues may be giving her the side eye and wondering just how she will cope with three jobs: heading up their professional body; holding down a role in academia; and working as a practising GP.

She believes part of the solution will lie in recognising that her life is going to be busy - and ensuring she takes time out.

As an accomplished artist, her self care routine centres on the watercolour classes she attends once a week.

“No one touches my watercolour class. Thursday evenings are sacrosanct,” she smiles.

Even her artistic pursuits are not an entirely work-free zone, however. She has also begun research for her PhD in which she examines the use of drawing in explaining ailments to patients.

Dr Murton will continue to be officially known as president-elect of the College until the board confirms her position at their next meeting – expected to be on 5 December.