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GP, Teacher, Artist, Mentor, Leader - College President Deserving Recipient Of Queen’s Birthday Honour

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners is delighted to congratulate their President, Dr Samantha Murton, on being appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the 2021 Queens Birthday honours.

Dr Samantha Murton

Dr Murton (picture attached) has received this honour in recognition of her services to medical education, particularly general practice.

Lynne Hayman, CEO of the College says, "Dr Murton epitomises the definition of a medical professional. She is a caring, enthusiastic, and committed general practitioner, teacher, mentor and leader to her profession.

"Dr Murton’s passion for teaching and passing on knowledge to new generations of doctors will, without doubt, be her legacy. She became a GP teacher as soon as she qualified, and her love for teaching continues today through her Wellington-based roles with the University of Otago as Trainee Intern Convener for medical students, and as a Senior Lecturer for the Department of Primary Care and General Practice.

"She has been the College president since November 2018 and has skillfully led the College throughout the COVID-19 pandemic response. Her open and collaborative style, combined with her strategic thinking and determination to improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders makes Dr Murton a well-respected College President. She is a constant advocate for our members and the profession on a national stage, making her a very deserving recipient of this honour."

About Dr Samantha MurtonIn addition to her College presidency, and her roles with Otago university, Dr Murton is first and foremost a GP. As a trustee, and Medical Director at a high-needs central city practice, she has a reputation for providing outstanding care to her patients.

An interesting fact about Dr Murton is her fascination of the use of art in medicine - using drawings as a way of simplifying complex medical information for patients. She says when trying to explain something, she instantly reaches for a pen and paper.

"I’ve always had an interest in art, and always found myself using drawings to explain anatomy, symptoms and treatments to help my patients understands their conditions. If we can help our patients to better understand what’s going on, they’re more likely to be receptive to, and follow their treatment plans."

In 2015, Dr Murton published her book, Minor Surgery: A Visual Guide for Office-Based Surgery from Beginner to Expert. The book is based on her 14 years of working in the Hutt Valley Plastic Surgery Unit. The book is filled with her own watercolour illustrations of procedures. In her spare time, she continues to work on her PhD that incorporates her interest in the value of art in general practice.

In 2016, Dr Murton was awarded Distinguished Fellowship of the College for her contribution to quality general practice teaching and education.

As College President, Dr Murton not only acts as an advocate for the members on a national level, but she also takes a personal interest in the health and wellbeing of GPs, ensuring they have access to the services and resources they need in order to do their job of improving the health of New Zealanders.

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