Dr Marietjie van der Merwe completed her undergraduate medical degree in South Africa, where she also spent 18 months in a rural mission hospital whilst completing her Diploma in Tropical medicine. After spending a year in the UK mainly as a locum in Paediatrics and Internal medicine, she returned to South Africa as a Senior Medical Officer in Internal Medicine for 12 months and then worked in Paediatrics. Upon completing her Masters in Family Medicine, she worked as GP in South Africa until 2009, when she and her medical specialist husband moved to Australia.
Upon moving to Australia, Dr van der Merwe started work at the UNSW Rural Clinical School in Wagga Wagga as a lecturer, and after completing registration needs commenced working as a GP. She obtained her RACGP Fellowship after 2 years. Presently she still lectures part-time, mainly to Year 3, 5 and 6 medical students.
Dr van der Merwe is very passionate about the role of the GP, not only in rural settings but also urban. She strongly believes that communication is an integral part of the GP role, and that this needs to be combined with good clinical skills and a broad knowledge base, which should continually be refreshed. She has completed a research project since moving to Australia, and hopes to do more.