Posted by Grant Paice on Dec 25, 2021


We were treated to long term member Larry’s talk on his experiences and changes over time to General Practitioner and medical services.
Larry was brought up in a farming community in Canada.  After 2 years pre-med he next attended medical school in Calgary. On finishing this, he then moved to New Zealand in 1976 where, after a stint in Dunedin, he then moved to Ashburton Hospital where he described his activities as “doing everything”.
His next move was to the Papanui Medical Centre while completing General Practitioner training where he stayed for 20 years.  President Grant was one of his patients later in that period but he can’t seem to remember him which is probably a good thing for Grant J.
His next move was to his current job at the Mansfield Health Centre in Merivale.  One of his more interesting activities is travelling to Disneyland with groups of children where he oversees and manages their medical needs.
“One of the largest changes to how GPs work was caused by the rapidly changing IT world which is now extensively used” shared Larry.  Mobiles are in particular are being used for a wider variety of access to medical services.
“Prescriptions in particular can be accessed this way” continued Larry but he also shared that this sometimes has its challenges as users adapt to this way of doing things.
Another area that has changed significantly is surgery which has significantly reduced time spent in hospitals. This helps free up these valuable resources for other services.
Other areas where things have changed notably include minor surgery including ear wax removal plus access to St Johns is now computerised. 
With respect to the evolving Covid world, Larry noted that this has significantly changed how medical centres operate and stressed that preventing spreading is now a key focus of GP advice to patients.  He also noted that the response time to the provision of vaccines and services has been significantly quicker than it was in the past.
As to the future, Larry feels that the space age may have a greater role to play in the future as it continues to change rapidly and as a result of its development it will provide increasingly new and complex technologies and discoveries that will have an impact on how we package and deliver GP and medical services.
Max thanked Larry for his presentation on the changing GP and medical services world.