Dr Jenny James is originally from the UK, where she first discovered her love of rural medicine in Wick, a tiny place in the remote far North of Scotland.
She moved to New Zealand ten years ago, initially continuing training in emergency medicine before finding her home in our rural communities and changing her training programme to match the skills needed in those wonderfully varied and vibrant places.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work in some of the most beautiful places in the country; my first experience of Rural Hospital Medicine and general practice was in Kaitaia, working there I was immersed in the community who look after and are deeply connected to their health providers.
“I realised just how important well trained, passionate doctors are to these communities and just how rewarding working rurally can be.
"I’ve since worked as both a GP and a Rural Hospital doctor in Gisborne, South Westland, Blenheim, Nelson, Oamaru, and now Queenstown with short stints in larger hospitals to complete some of the specialist components of the training. I completed my GP Fellowship in 2017 and my Rural Hospital one in 2019."
Jenny’s experiences have left her determined to get involved with the College. She hopes that her role as Chair of the Board of Studies will give her the opportunity to be closely involved in the training programme. Jenny is a member of the Rural Chapter of GPs and for the last year has been on the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine (DRHM) Council. She quickly realised there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes.
“The Division is lucky to have many brilliant members involved in various projects and while we are closely connected bunch in some ways, rural geography and our busy jobs mean it can be hard to stay abreast of all that’s happening. One of the things we’re working on is improving the communication with members, so you know what we’re working on and whether, if you have a concern, you've been heard.
“I feel passionately that rural medicine is the most fun, challenging and fulfilling medicine you can practice. In my experience the thing that unites us all is our passion for bringing the best care possible to our communities.