Dr Ian Milne 1947 – 2022, an obituary

By Jamie Morris, Communications Advisor

26 April 2022

Category: College and members


Much-loved Petone GP Dr Ian Milne passed away suddenly last month aged 74.

Dr Milne graduated from University of Otago’s medical school in 1970 and this is also where he met fellow student Janet Scott who he married in 1972. 

Dr Milne was one of the first GP registrars when 鶹Ƶ was established in 1974; he sat and passed the Primary Membership exam (PRIMEX) in 1974.

Ian and Janet spent time in England, Wales, and Canada before returning to 鶹Ƶ in 1978 when they bought the Petone Medical Centre. They went on to run that for more than 30 years. 

Ian continued his specialist GP training and became a Fellow of the College in 1991. During this time, his teacher and well-known GP, the late Dr Peter Anyon, nudged him into teaching.

From then, Dr Milne devoted a lot of his career to teaching and education, holding several College GP teacher and medical educator roles where he worked to inspire the next generation of GPs. 

In 2010 when reflecting on his time as a GP teacher, Dr Milne said “teaching GPEP registrars has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my time in general practice. I have learned a huge amount from the contact with new generations of graduates and am constantly challenged to question my own attitudes, values and practices.”

Dr Milne was well-respected by the many registrars he taught. Dr Imogen Robertson, who is now a Fellow, said, “I left with a great deal more confidence than when I arrived. Dr Milne was the first teacher I have had that really motivated me in evidence-based learning, and how it applies to real patients.”

In 2013, Dr Milne was awarded the highest College Award when he became a Distinguished Fellow for his services to GP education. 

The citation read “a varied array of doctors who trained with Ian benefited from his thoughtful and knowledgeable teaching.  Ian is a role-model, delivering patient care in a gentle and caring patient manner while also operating from a strong ethical base.”

When reading Dr Milne’s online memory book, you get a glimpse into the kind, caring man he was and how much he was valued by his community. 

A former receptionist from Petone Medical Centre said, “I have so many fond memories of my time as receptionist on the staff of Petone Medical Centre during the 1980s and 1990s - some of the best few years of my life. Ian was a loyal, enthusiastic, and fully involved member of the Petone community, who always wanted the best life possible for everybody.”

Ian is survived by his wife Janet and their five children Jonathan, Kiri, Anita, Frances, and Steuart.

Note: we used the image of rosemary in this story to signify remembrance.