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NZMA announces election of new chair

NZMA announces election of new chair

I am happy to announce that Dr Tricia Briscoe is the new chair of the New Zealand Medical Association,’ says retiring chairman Dr John Adams. ‘Dr Briscoe will bring a very keen mind and a huge commitment to patient care and the medical profession to the role as chair. She is an experienced general practitioner with an excellent knowledge and perception about the whole craft of medicine, the health system and the challenges that we face. It is good to know that I am leaving the leadership of the NZMA in such capable hands.’

Dr Briscoe is looking forward to her new role. ‘I love my job as a doctor and believe passionately in general practice and the tremendous value that the doctors of New Zealand bring to their communities,’ she says. ‘There are huge changes happening to health in New Zealand and doctors have a central role of advocacy to ensure that the system remains committed to the well-being of patients.’

During her 14 years as a GP in Rotorua, Dr Briscoe has been heavily involved in medical politics. She has been chairman of the Rotorua GP Group, as well as deputy chairman of the NZMA and chairman of their General Practitioner Council for the past two years.

She welcomes the opportunity to reaffirm the professionalism of doctors and their contribution to the community. ‘Doctors are committed to improving quality of care, enhancing access to health services, ensuring resources reach those in most need, and strengthening the research base of medicine’. Dr Briscoe quotes the Charter on Medical Professionalism: ‘Professionalism is the basis of medicine’s contract with society. It demands placing the interests of patients above those of the physician, setting and maintaining standards of competence and integrity, and providing expert advice to society on matters of health’.

A pragmatist as well as an idealist, she is determined to foster healthy lifestyles for New Zealanders and help break the cycle of obesity that is causing an epidemic of diabetes and other diseases.

Her Rotorua practice accepted a challenge to all practices in the middle of the North Island from the Hillary Commission that each member would take 30 minutes exercise five days every week in November. So committed were they that their Christmas function consisted of a morning’s bush walk. Followed, Dr Briscoe laughingly admits, by champagne and strawberries on the Lake Tarawera ferry.

Married with two sons, she entered Medical School after seven years teaching chemistry at Rotorua Boys High School and on graduation shared the Douglas Robb Memorial Prize for top scholar.

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