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Crawford Medical Centre
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Dr Betteridge calls it a day after 31 years

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A BUCKLANDS Beach doctor who this week hangs up his white coat after 31 years says he will miss his patients but not the system.

Dr John Betteridge, 58, has worked as a GP in Bucklands Beach since 1975, most recently at the Half Moon Bay Marina Medical Rooms.

“I will miss the characters you get coming through the door each day and their stories. You hear about people’s lives and you become part of their lives.”

However, Dr Betteridge admits being a GP today is not as interesting as it was three decades ago.

“I started off as a GP doing anything and everything and loved it. You never knew what was going to come through the door. But we’ve lost a lot since then, obstetrics and with it the babies, accident and emergency care – we lost a lot of that work. We’ve almost become partialists as opposed to specialists. It’s not as rewarding as it used to be both professionally and financially.”

Raised in Dannevirke and then Gisborne, Dr Betteridge knew he wanted to become a doctor from the age of eight.

“I think a lot of it was my parent’s influence. My father was a hospital administrator but had always wanted to be a doctor.”

On graduation from Otago University, he worked in various hospitals around the country before moving to settle in Auckland in 1973.

In addition to his work as a GP, Dr Betteridge set up East Care Accident and Emergency clinic in 1988 with colleagues Dr Edwards and Dr Kidd.

He became the first chairman of East Care and its director for the past six years, a role he will continue in retirement.

He has also been involved in geriatric care for the last 18 years and was the main doctor at Howick’s Lansdowne Retirement Home, a role he enjoyed.

As for the future, Dr Betteridge is looking forward to spending his days with his wife gardening, playing golf, travelling as well as playing bass guitar in his “ageing” rock band.

He will also do locum work in other practices.

Dr Catherine McArthur will take over from Dr Betteridge.

 

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