Promoting general practice and rural health to next generation recognised with College award

24 July 2023

Category: Media releases


In recognition of his advocacy for and promotion of general practice, Professor Tim Stokes of Dunedin has been awarded a President’s Service Medal at GP23: the Conference for General Practice.

Professor Stokes is the Head of Department, General Practice and Rural Health at the Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, and consistently promotes both general practice and rural hospital medicine within the medical school and the wider university. He played a significant role in establishing the department’s Section of Rural Health in 2018.

College President Dr Samantha Murton says, “At a time when we’re facing workforce shortages in general practice and rural hospital medicine, having an advocate like Professor Stokes who is promoting all the great things about this career to the next generation of medical professionals is so important.

“And at the other end of the spectrum, his love of research and academia into health care delivery and looking to how we can future proof the sector is another important way to ensure patients can get the best possible care where and when they need it.”

In April 2022, he was appointed co-editor-in-chief of the College’s Journal of Primary Health Care (JPHC) where a refresh is the journal has occurred through the establishment of an editorial board and strengthening Māori and Pasifika engagement.

Alongside all of this important work, Professor Stokes still enjoys his work as a GP, working part-time at a high-needs practice in Dunedin.

Professor Stokes is the vice-President of the Australasian Association for Academic Primary Care (AAAPC), and next month, will become the first ever New Zealand President. AAAPC is one of the top three international associations of academic primary care researchers.

The President’s Service Medal recognises an outstanding contribution to the College or the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine, and this year there were four recipients.