Paediatrician, clinical director Child and Maternal Health, and academic co-ordinator University of Auckland Medical School Taranaki
“There are lots of different parts to my current roles and I’m fortunate to interact with a wide variety of teams within the DHB, as well as externally, all trying to do the best for people of Taranaki.”
John works two days a week with general paediatrics, mainly outpatient clinics in New Plymouth, Stratford and Hāwera. He no longer takes part in the after-hours call roster for general paediatrics.
As Clinical Director for Child and Maternal Health John helps support the safe and smooth running of paediatric and women’s health acute and outpatient services. Another important aspect of the role is being part of the team looking towards the future development of these crucial parts of the health services for Taranaki.
As Academic Coordinator he’s also responsible for supporting the Year 5 and 6 medical students from the University of Auckland who are placed here for one year’s training. This programme has been part of the DHB for six years now and goes from strength to strength. One of the highlights for both the programme and the students is the six-week placement of Year 5 students at South Taranaki based in Hāwera.
John’s first connection with Taranaki DHB was as a trainee intern doing a paediatric elective here in 1978, then stints as a house surgeon, paediatric registrar and after completion of training he’s worked here as a paediatrician since 1991.
He says he was fortunate from a young age to know he wanted to be a paediatrician and that he was able to pursue and achieve that childhood dream.
“The children and their families are always inspiring and give hope for what can be achieved and that you can make a difference.
“I work with great colleagues, and there’s always something different happening, you never quite know what is coming next. As a teacher and supervisor I really enjoy seeing young doctors and medical students grow and develop their clinical skills as well as other skills such as leadership.”
With a career of nearly half a century devoted to medicine and his patients, what does the future hold for John?
“Retirement is definitely looming large in my thinking at present and hopefully the opportunity to do more of the things I enjoy outside of work – time with family, reading, watching sport, and keeping active walking, cycling and gardening.”