Dr Tim Coulter will be missed by many when he retires from Taupo Health at the end of March. During the 24 years he's been there, he's particularly enjoyed the staff morale and busy atmosphere of the place, keeping him "out of mischief".
Studying in Auckland in the 80s, Tim initially thought surgery might be his calling, but "general practice grew on me," he says. He qualified as a GP in 1989 and initially worked as a junior doctor at Rotorua Hospital.
Tim later went much further afield and spent time in Africa and Botswana, both as part of a Flying Doctor service and a hospital setting. He's also spent time doing locum work in England and Europe.
Tim has found passion in the variety his role brings, knowing that "anything can walk in the door". He's enjoyed the continuity with patients and their families and has particularly found fulfilment in the palliative care side of his role "helping people die well is very rewarding" he says.
So what's next for Tim? "I'll do a bit of locum work and I have some reading I want to catch up on" he says. Living on a small farm and looking after that will be keeping him busy too.