GP22: Two forward, two back

15 August 2022 


By Simone White, Senior Communications Advisor 

Two forward, two back presentations are short, four-minute insights given by an experienced GP, and a more-experienced GP – who each share their views on a chosen topic. 

If you would like to volunteer yourself, dob in a colleague or suggest a topic for next year’s two forward, two back presentations at GP23, please email us: communications@rnzcgp.org.nz 

This was the second year we’ve run two forward, two back and we were treated to informative, emotional, witty presentations, along with a certain TikTok featuring a certain Medical Director that won’t be forgotten in a hurry! 

Sharing medicine via media 
Medical Director Dr Bryan Betty and GPEP year 3 registrar Dr Vanisi Prescott  

Dr Betty highlighted how traditional media (TV, radio and newspaper) does still have a big role to play – from the 1pm daily stand-ups throughout the pandemic to how the College and GPs around the country have used the media, and continue to use it, to tell their stories. 

Dr Prescott shared how she used social media throughout the pandemic. She uses her profile as a Pasifika GP to tackle misinformation that was online and is now seen as a trusted source of information. Dr Prescott called for more health professionals to use social media to discuss other medical conditions, promote screening programmes, and educate the public on general health. 

To end, delegates were treated to those TikTok videos. You can watch them here and here. 

Supporting the rainbow community 
Dr Cathy Stephenson and GPEP2 registrar and Public Health trainee Dr Hemi Enright 

Dr Enright started by saying that LGBTQIA+ issues have only recently come to the fore in our collective consciousness, but that doesn’t mean we have not always existed. He highlighted some of the history and quoted academic Dr Elizabeth Kerekere who defines takatāpui in her master’s research as, “takatāpui is an ancient Māori term from the traditions of the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand. It means intimate companion of the same sex…” 

Dr Stephenson talked of her journey and experiences from the past four years as a member of the Mauri Ora gender affirming healthcare clinic in Wellington and when it was set up, was the first of its kind in Aotearoa. Its kaupapa was to design and deliver a service that really worked for the community. She ended her presentation by showing quotes from her patients about what good, safe, affirming care  means to them. 

Why rural rules 

Dr Andrew Ure and dual DRHM and GPEP registrar Dr Ralston D’Souza  

Dr Ure, from Gore, opened with an original poem and the opening verses setting the scene: 

Rural general practice … where to begin 
The options are many that will welcome you in 
The welcomes are warm, and the houses are cheap 
Just got to put up with some cattle and sheep 

If your dreams for adventure and pathology and fame 
Then rural is your ticket and medicine your game 
Where else do the GPs call choppers for arrests 
Or Stabilise STEMI’s or decompress chests 
Or work with volunteers from the fire brigade 
As they prepare to assist with another MVA 

 Read Dr Ure's full poem.

 Dr D’Souza’s presentation focused on his journey to rural practice and what he had learnt throughout his placements. He started by saying how does a guy who was born in India and grew up in Auckland decide to specialise in rural medicine? He spoke about the feeling of belonging and how rural communities become part of your extended family. He then dedicated his presentation to Joy Sunich, the RMO Unit Manager at Whakatane Hospital, who recently passed away, saying people like her are why rural rules. 

Greening general practice
Dr Dermot Coffey and Dr Angharad Dunn  


Dr Coffey said when it comes to climate change, it can be hard to know where to start, but he spoke to three points for delegates to think about: 

  1. Look after ourselves first. 
  2. We cannot have a green and sustainable general practice without a green and sustainable health sector, and a health sector that respects resources and properly integrates general practice.
  3. Get involved with Ora Taiao, the climate and action group. We will find a place for you to take whatever action you want. 

Dr Dunn focused on practical ways to help green your practice, create less waste and be more sustainable.  

She spoke about the small single-use lights that come in a proctor scope, that are used in many practices. While it is a single-use product, the light will actually stay on for five months – she knows that because she tested it and kept one, switched on, in her desk drawer. After looking into other options and thinking differently, Dr Dunn’s Wellington practice has now moved away from using this type of disposable equipment (unless there is a real need to) and have moved back to the “old fashioned” way of choosing equipment that can be used, sterilised, and then re-used, and that didn’t come in plastic packaging.  

Other examples she spoke of included having a compost bin for lunch scraps, a bike rack for staff and patients to have access to or choosing to prescribe a different inhaler that doesn’t embody greenhouse gases in it. Small changes can be important, and all add up to make a difference.  

More information can also be found on the College website – Climate change and greening your general practice