Outstanding GPs recognised at College award ceremony

9 August 2021

A highlight of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners annual conference is the Fellowship and Awards ceremony.

At GP21: the conference for general practice, which was held over the weekend (6-8 August), the College celebrated outstanding GPs across five categories.

The College also formally recognised the 2020 award recipients who were unable receive their award in person last year with the conference cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This year, six GPs were awarded Distinguished Fellowship for services to the College or rural health who have made a sustained contribution to general practice, medicine or the health and wellbeing of the community. They are the College’s Medical

Director Dr Bryan Betty (Wellington), Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen (Auckland), Dr Branko Sijnja (Balclutha), Dr Clare Healy (Christchurch), Dr Peter Fleischl (Taupo), and Dr Sandra Jessop (Hawke’s Bay).

The President’s Service Medal was awarded to five GPs for outstanding contribution to the College or rural health.

Ten GPs from right across the country received a Community Service Medal for their outstanding contribution to their communities.

The Humphrey Rainey Medal for Excellence, awarded to the doctor with the highest marks in the College’s clinical and written exams went to Dr George Ansley from Tauranga.

This is the second year presenting the Dr Amjad Hamid Medal, which memorialises a rural heart doctor who died in the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack. The award is for the top mark in the University of Otago’s cardiorespiratory medicine for rural hospitals paper. This year there were two GPs with the same top mark, Dr Jonathan Penno (Canterbury) and Dr Sarah Scott (Bay of Islands).

Dr Samantha Murton, President of the College, says, "The College award ceremony is definitely a perk of the job. It gives me great joy to shake the hands of these exceptional GPs and say thank you for the work they are doing for their communities, the College and the GP workforce.

"I am so thankful we were able to hold our conference this year and that we were able to give the proper recognition to our 2020 award winners too."

The full list of award winners for 2021 is below:

Distinguished Fellowship 

Dr Branko Sijnja, Balclutha
Dr Bryan Betty, Wellington
Dr Clare Healy, Christchurch
Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen, Auckland
Dr Peter Fleischl, Taupō
Dr Sandra Jessop, Hawke’s Bay

President’s Service Medal 

Dr Maia Melbourne-Wilcox, Christchurch
Dr Chris Wright, Wellington
Dr Shane Cross, Kaikohe
Dr Ali Begg, Christchurch
Dr Frances McClure, Mission Bay

Community Service Medal 
Dr James Chisnall, Motueka
Dr Jonathan Chambers, Christchurch
Dr Mark Taylor, Hamilton
Dr Rachel Shouler, Tarawera
Dr Sandhya Ramanathan, Auckland
Dr Mike Jenkin, Swanson
Dr Hamish Wilson, Dunedin
Dr Maelen Tagelagi, Auckland
Dr Murray Smith, Ōmokoroa
Dr Susie Lawless, Dunedin

Humphrey Rainey Medal for Excellence 

Dr George Ansley, Tauranga

Dr Amjad Hamid Medal 

Dr Jonathan Penno, Canterbury
Dr Sarah Scott, Bay of Islands