The Father of Plastic Surgery


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One may not conceive New Zealand as a mecca of the medical field. However, it has brought some of the biggest names in medicine yet. Sir Harold Delf Gillies was born in New Zealand but moved to England soon thereafter. As an otolaryngologist, he performed a lot of work for the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I and continued on as a consultant to the Ministry of Health during World War II. He is considered the father of plastic surgery. It was Gilles, with a colleague, who carried out one of the first sex reassignment surgeries in history. It took place in 1946 and turned a female into a male.

Archibald McIndoe, was invited into the practice by Gilles, who was his cousin, after having done a fellowship at Mayo Clinic in the United States and then deciding to move to Britain in 1930. He also became prominent in the plastic surgery field, improving the treatment and rehabilitation of burned aircrew during World War II.

Contributing to Skin Cancer in New Zealand

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Whether it is New Zealanders moving to Britain or British moving to New Zealand, the medical field recognises both from both nations due to their breakthroughs in medicine. It is Dr. Sharad Paul, born in England, raised in India and working in New Zealand, who stands out as a thought leader in skin cancer treatment and patient-centred care. He discusses his findings through poetry and fiction and nonfiction works, depicting the evolution and politics of skin and focusing greatly on his scientific research. Stopping by London every so often to speak about his work - both scientific and poetic - he is one of the top senior academics in Auckland today.