10 April 2018
Te Kuiti's Dr Keith Buswell was awarded the 2018 Peter Snow Memorial Award at the National Rural Conference on Saturday 7 April 2018.
Keith is a dual Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, and the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine.
The award honours the life and work of the late rural GP Dr Peter Snow, and was presented to Keith in recognition of his contributions to rural Waikato as an innovator, leader and teacher.
"I feel very honoured to be included in the group of rural general practitioners who have received this award before me," says Keith.
"Each of them have made huge contributions to rural health."
A very humble man, Keith was not expecting to win the award. Being presented was like "a bolt out of the blue" he says, before going on to acknowledge his influences and motivators.
“I’d like to acknowledge the role of my wife and GP, Elly Kroef in all of this. We used to job share in the early days from about 1986 until the last of our children went to school. That’s how it all started."
"I’m delighted to have been able to form a type of practice that is seen as innovative, and a combination of primary and secondary care in a rural town. It shows the two can blend together in a rural setting."
“It’s also been satisfying seeing GPs able to work at a higher level: at hospital-practice level, and with the clinical decision-making required for that."
“It’s a reflection of what all rural GPs do every day, except in our situation it’s a little more formalised.”
Keith says the variety of medicine is the essence of rural general practice, and rural practice offers the opportunity to add to your skills every day. It also offers the reward of working with close-knit communities.
About the Peter Snow Memorial Award
Peter Snow was a rural general practitioner based in Tapanui, and he passed away in March 2006.
As well as caring for his patients, Peter was a past-President of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, and a member of the Otago Hospital Board and District Health Board. He was enthusiastic and active in seeking knowledge to improve the health and safety of rural communities.
Peter's work contributed to the identification of chronic fatigue syndrome, and he worked diligently to raise awareness of safety issues related to farming accidents.
Previous recipients of the award include:
Inaugural recipient Dr Ron Janes (2007)
Nurse Jean Ross and Dr Pat Farry (2008 – jointly awarded)
Dr Garry Nixon (2009)
Dr Tim Malloy (2010)
Dr Martin London (2011)
Nurse Kirsty Murrell-McMillan (2012)
Dr Graeme Fenton and NZIRH CE Robin Steed (2013)
Kim Gosman and Dr Janne Bills (2014)
Dr Katharina Blattner (2015)
Dr Ivan and Leonie (RNS) Howie (2016)
Drs Chris Henry and Andrea Judd (2017)