Long-serving South Canterbury general practitioner Dr Gayle O’Duffy, has been awarded a Community Service Medal by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners for her dedicated service to the Methven community.
The Community Service Medal recognises members who have made an outstanding contribution to general practice through work in their own communities.
Dr O’Duffy, originally from Queensland, Australia, has been a rural general practitioner at Methven Medical Centre for over 30 years.
Over the course of her career, Dr O’Duffy and the team have developed the practice to meet the changing needs of the community. College President Dr Samantha Murton says, “Our rural general practitioners are such an important part of our workforce. The skills and knowledge of this group are often very different to those of a GP who is working in a metropolitan or urban environment.
“Long-serving GPs such as Dr O’Duffy are crucial to their communities to build those trusted relationships with the whole whanau. In our country’s more isolated regions, GPs are often the only medical support in the community.”
Dr O’Duffy has been a teacher for those who are on their journey to become a general practitioner or rural hospital doctor and established a remote rural peer group which is still going strong today for rural GPs in the South Canterbury region.
Outside of the consultation room, Dr O’Duffy has previously held long-serving leadership roles at Pegasus Health Primary Health Organisation (PHO).