Dr Greg Judkins

College News
29 March 2019

I love general practice. lt sometimes gives me a hard time, but we have been together since 1983 and I have never considered leaving. Maybe l'll retire in my seventies, but before then, I want to draw on my experience to contribute to my profession through the RNZCGP Board. Encouraging the retention of older GPs in the workforce, in a part-time capacity at least, is an important concern.

Working in a high-needs area of South Auckland suits me. I enjoy the diversity of the community, the ethnic mix, and the large group of severely disabled patients I care for. It is a joy to greet patients I have known for twenty or thirty years – for some of them that means all of their lives. Preserving this model of practice, with its long-term relationships with people and communities, is a high priority for me.

I love teaching. We have had GPEP registrars in our practice for 28 years, and I have been involved with running the GPEP seminar programme in Auckland for most of that time. Mentoring young GPs continues to be one of my most satisfying roles. To maintain our workforce, we must have funding for 300 doctors entering GPEP every year, as promised before the last election.

I both love and sometimes hate being a joint owner of a smallish practice. Ownership has allowed autonomy and has enabled us to build a happy team with a caring ethos. But practice owners are really feeling the pinch now, and I desperately want to see small practices adequately funded to ensure their survival, rather than be forced to consider corporate ownership options. Compliance demands on GPs have become onerous, and I have lobbied and will continue to do so, for keeping the right balance between the need for quality standards and the need to keep demands on our time at realistic levels. I am appalled at the number of our colleagues experiencing burnout.

Being involved in College activities has been professionally satisfying. My email address has been greg.judkins@rnzcgp.org.nz ever since l first used computers. As well as my commitment to registrar teaching, I was a PRIMEX examiner for a decade, served on the College's now-defunct Advanced Vocational Education Committee, and I was a Fellowship Assessor for several years. The College awarded me a Distinguished Fellowship in 2004. But in recent years, I have at times been disappointed with the management and leadership of our beloved College, and I voiced my criticism on several occasions. There is good news – now, I sense a change for the better. I want to be involved in this reformation. Being on the Board will give me opportunities to make a positive contribution to the future direction of the College. I would rather get into the scrum and do that, than to criticise from a distance.