Dr Emmora Keenan
It was sports that took Emmora Keenan to the United States – to where she travelled on a basketball scholarship to do a degree in biology – but it was medicine that brought her home.
After studying at the University of Auckland, Emmora graduated as a doctor in 2005 and spent the next half-dozen years travelling New Zealand and the world, working to hone her skills.
Then in 2012 she did her first stint as a locum at Kaiti Medical Centre and by 2013 (when that clinic had morphed into Three Rivers Medical) she, her partner and their young baby made the permanent move to Gisborne.
There were family reasons for that: Gisborne is the home town of Emmora's husband, and the previously nomadic couple planned to raise their now four children here.
And there were professional reasons, too: in 2010 Emmora had embarked on her training towards a Royal NZ College of General Practitioners Fellowship and was keen to apply what she had learned.
“I think you are always learning and, even though I worked across many areas – including women’s health, ear, nose and throat and paediatrics – I always knew I wanted to be a GP,” she says. “There is something appealing about the people and the variety, as well as the opportunity to help provide competent, compassionate and consistent care.”
In the long term, Emmora sees the future of medicine as being very bright, with an increased emphasis on personalised care and the empowerment of patients.
Meanwhile, in the short term, she is drawing on her passion for team sports to work on meaningful collaboration with her colleagues.
“There is so much we can do by working together in both early intervention and in managing existing conditions,” she says.
“Three Rivers is already working towards a collaborative model and we have an amazing team of nurses and administration staff to support that.”