Professor Julia Blitz has recently been awarded honorary fellowship to the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). This is the 'highest College award' offered by the RCGP, the professional body for general practitioners, family physicians and primary care physicians in the United Kingdom.
Blitz is the Vice Dean: Learning and Teaching at Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS).
“Julia [Blitz] has made a major contribution internationally to both undergraduate education and postgraduate training in the context of family medicine," Dr Steve Mowle, RCGP's Honorary Treasurer, who read the citation at the award ceremony held in London, late last year.
“She has also been a massive influence in the pioneering joint work of the RCGP with Stellenbosch University to develop vocational training and the licensing of Family Physicians in sub-Saharan Africa," he continued.
Blitz has a background in both Family Medicine and Health Professions Education, and Mowle credited her career success to excellence in both patient-centred clinical practice and academics.
“Julia [Blitz] is a motivated and committed leader and a powerful champion for primary care … Her contribution to the RCGP International work has been invaluable," said Mowle.
Blitz has collaborated on several RCGP-related projects, including the licensing examination of the College of Family Physicians (CFP) of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA), and 'Training the Family Medicine Trainers in South Africa', which is now being extended across 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Locally she has held key roles within the CFP, and at an international level she has connections with the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) Institute in Philadelphia and held a position on the executive committee of the Southern Africa FAIMER Regional Institute.
According to Mowle, these credentials have “contributed significantly to her credibility as a very skilled and knowledgeable leader in undergraduate and postgraduate education".
Nominations for Honorary Fellowship to the RCGP are made for outstanding work towards the objectives of the college, with a candidate's international standing measured by:
The receipt of prizes/awards granted by other national or international organisations;
Writing which has had national or international impact;
Whether the person has made a significant contribution to general practice or its development;
Having demonstrably furthered the aims of general practice, primary care and the college.