College of GPs awards Honorary Fellowships to teachers

20 October 2020

Ms Jill Muirhead of Wanaka (left) and Ms Wendy Finnie of Dunedin (right) have been awarded Honorary Fellowship of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners for their work teaching ultrasound to rural hospital doctors.

Both women teach postgraduate papers in generalist ultrasound and echocardiography, which they designed and developed specially to teach rural hospital doctors. Their course has become the bedrock of post-Fellowship training in rural hospital medicine and is so good it’s also taught to some GPs and emergency medicine specialists too.

Dr Jennifer Keys, Chair of the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine, part of the College says, “Jill and Wendy’s qualification was developed for rural hospital medicine."

“It is difficult to overestimate the influence that Jill and Wendy’s teaching has had on rural hospital medicine; most rural hospital doctors have completed their paper, which has made point of care ultrasound an important diagnostic tool at almost every rural hospital in New Zealand, says Dr Keys.

“We owe these wonderful professionals a debt of gratitude.”

Honorary Fellowship of the College is given to individuals of distinction who have made an outstanding contribution to rural hospital medicine or the medical profession in general. They do not need to be graduates of medicine.

In 2020 Honorary Fellowship of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners was also awarded to Professor Ross Lawrenson for his unfaltering commitment to primary care and rural health. 

The awards will be presented at the College’s 2021 conference; this year’s conference was cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns.