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Professor John Murtagh AO

MBBS, MD, BSc, BEd, FRACGP, DipObstRCOG

Emeritus Professor in General Practice, School of Primary Health, Monash University, Melbourne

Professorial Fellow, Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne

Adjunct Clinical Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Western Australia

John Murtagh was a science master teaching chemistry, biology and physics in Victorian secondary schools when he was admitted to the first intake of the newly established Medical School at Monash University, graduating in 1966. Following a comprehensive postgraduate training program, which included surgical registrarship, he practised in partnership with his wife, Dr Jill Rosenblatt, for 10 years in the rural community of Neerim South, Victoria.

He was appointed Senior Lecturer (part-time) in the Department of Community Medicine at Monash University and eventually returned to Melbourne as a full-time Senior Lecturer. He was appointed to a professorial chair in Community Medicine at Box Hill Hospital in 1988 and subsequently as chairman of the extended department and Professor of General Practice in 1993 until retirement from this position in 2010. He now holds teaching positions as Emeritus Professor in General Practice at Monash University, Adjunct Clinical Professor, University of Notre Dame and Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne. He achieved the Doctor of Medicine degree in 1988 for his thesis ‘The management of back pain in general practice’.

He was appointed Associate Medical Editor of Australian Family Physician in 1980 and Medical Editor in 1986, a position he held until 1995. In 1995 he was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia for services to medicine and to medical education in the field of general practice and to professional groups.

One of his numerous publications, Practice Tips, was named as the British Medical Association’s Best Primary Care Book Award in 2005. In the same year John Murtagh was awarded the inaugural David de Kretser medal from Monash University for his exceptional contribution to the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences over a significant period of time. Members of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners may know that the honour of the namesake of the library was bestowed upon him. In 2018 he was awarded the Australian Medical Association’s Gold Medal for exceptional and long-standing commitment and contribution to general practice and advancing the profession through medical education.

Today John Murtagh continues to enjoy active participation in medical education activities. His vast experience with all medical groups has provided him with tremendous insights into their needs, which is reflected in the culminated experience and wisdom of John Murtagh’s General Practice.

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Dr Jill Rosenblatt

MBBS, FRACGP, DipObstRCOG, GradDipAppSci

Jill Rosenblatt graduated in medicine from the University of Melbourne in 1968. Following terms as a resident medical officer she entered rural practice in Neerim South, Victoria, in partnership with her husband John Murtagh. She was responsible for inpatient hospital care in the Neerim District Bush Nursing Hospital and in the West Gippsland Base Hospital. Her special interests were obstetrics, paediatrics and anaesthetics. Jill has also had a special interest in Indigenous culture and health since she lived at Koonibba Mission in South Australia, where her father was Superintendent.

After leaving rural life she came to Melbourne and joined the Ashwood Medical Group, where she practised comprehensive general medicine, and care of the elderly in particular. She was appointed Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Department of General Practice at Monash University in 1980 and a teacher in the GP registrar program.

She gained a Diploma of Sports Medicine (RACGP) in 1985 and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Science in Nutritional and Environmental Medicine from Swinburne University of Technology in 2001.

Jill Rosenblatt brings a wealth of diverse experience to the compilation of this textbook. This is based on 50 years of experience in rural and metropolitan general practice. In addition, she has served as clinical assistant to the Shepherd Foundation, the Menopause Clinics at Prince Henry’s Hospital and Box Hill Hospital and the Department of Anaesthetics at Prince Henry’s Hospital. Jill has served as an examiner for the RACGP for 39 years and for the Australian Medical Council for 16 years. She was awarded a life membership of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 2010 and a Distinguished Service award of the College in 2014.

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Dr Justin Coleman

MBBS, FRACGP, MPH

General Practitioner, Julanimawu Health Service, Wurrumiyanga, NT

Senior Lecturer, Flinders University Medical School

Medical Educator, NTGPE

Editorial Advisory Board, Diabetes Management Journal

Board Director, GP Supervisors Association Governance Board, ALIVE National Centre for Mental Health Research Translation

Justin Coleman graduated from Melbourne University Medical School in 1992 and has subsequently worked as a rural GP in Victoria, the remote NT and Brisbane, primarily in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Soon after graduating, Justin began writing for the GP newspaper Medical Observer and hasn’t stopped since. One of his weekly columns, ‘Handy Hints for GPs’, ran for 13 years. He writes regular humorous opinion columns.

Justin is a prolific writer for medical and non-medical readerships; he has published well over 1500 medical articles in around 50 different newspapers, magazines, books and journals. For five years he served as President of the Australasian Medical Writers Association and he regularly runs writing workshops for medical writers and academics.

Since completing a Master of Public Health (UQ 2011, first class hons), Justin has dedicated much of his career to educating other GPs about how to improve various aspects of medical practice. His interests include evidence-based medicine, the rational use of medical tests and treatments, and dealing with uncertainty during a GP consultation. He represents the RACGP on matters pertaining to conflicts of interest and fiercely guards his own independence, never having accepted payment from a pharmaceutical or medical device company.

Over three decades, Justin has supervised hundreds of medical students and GP registrars. He has taught in the medical schools of four universities and for a dozen medical education organisations.

Justin edited his first medical book 25 years ago and has remained a medical editor ever since. He completed a Writing and Editing program in 2010 (UQ, first class hons). He was editor of the Diabetes Management Journal, writes and does peer reviews for the MJA, AJGP (formerly AFP) and BMJ, and is a member of the Australasian Health and Medical journal Editors’ Network (AHMEN).

Justin was honoured to be invited by Professor John Murtagh to help edit Australia’s seminal textbook on general practice. This represents the grand intersection of every one of his aforementioned interests.

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Dr Clare Murtagh

MBBS, FRACGP

General Practitioner, Sydney

Clare Murtagh completed her medical studies at Monash University in 2007 and spent her early career working in hospitals in Geelong and rural Victoria. Following experience as a medical officer for trekkers in Nepal, she moved to Sydney where she completed her General Practice training in 2013.

A passionate generalist, Clare has special interest in dermatology, women’s health and paediatrics. She holds a Diploma of Dermatology and Certificates in Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Medical Education. While practising at Your Doctors in Sydney’s inner west, she has cared for a wide variety of patients and is an antenatal shared care provider.

In recent years, Clare has gained increasing experience in medical education as a supervisor of training GPs and as an examiner for the RACGP. She has worked as a medical educator at GP Synergy and is a lecturer on dermatology.

Clare has been an enthusiastic contributor to the ‘Women’s health’, ‘Sexual health’ and ‘Problems of the skin’ sections of the last three edition of Murtagh’s General Practice. As the daughter of co-authors John Murtagh and Jill Rosenblatt, she has benefited from their mentorship and appreciates the genesis and philosophy of the editorial direction of the textbook.

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