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Hambleton honoured by his peers

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Immediate-past AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton has been made an honorary Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in recognition of his outstanding service to the profession.

 Dr Hambleton, a Brisbane GP, said he was gratified by the “high honour” conferred on him at the recent RACGP conference.

In his acceptance speech, the former AMA President recounted the beginnings of his career, and his love for the work as a family GP.

“My vocation as a GP started in 1986 when I worked as a medical superintendent with the right of private practice in Texas, Queensland,” he said. “For the first time I was directly serving my patients and their families from the cradle to grave. I was welcomed and embraced by the communities, and it was then that I realised that general practice was my future.”

Dr Hambleton became a member of the RACGP in 1988 when he joined the staff of a 24-hour medical centre, and “before long” bought into the partnership.

Initially, the practice bulk-billed its patients, “but the economics of a high quality health care home and the Medicare rebate were incompatible,” he said.

“After 26 years I am still working in that same practice, treating often the same patients and the same families. I now see the children of children that I have treated, adults growing old and I have had the privilege of sitting on the bedside as lives have slipped away,” Dr Hambleton said. “I love my profession and I have worked to preserve family general practice and I hope I have helped to make sure the rewards that I have had are available for my future colleagues.”

Adrian Rollins