When and why did you first decide to become a doctor?
My brother, Paul, is a doctor. I used to go with him to hospitals when I was about 10, and I saw how rewarding his work was. After that, I really did not want to do anything else; it is a decision I have never regretted.
What do you recall as being some of the most important things you’ve learned since launching your career in medicine?
Always listen to your patients and never assume anything about a patient.
Describe how your career has tracked to date …
I graduated in 1975. I did my residency at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, and then worked at Fairfield Hospital, which was where I met my wife, Denise. Then I went to England to study Anesthetics and Obstetrics.
Denise and I were married in Paris, and our daughter, Katherine, was born in Birmingham. Apparently I delivered her, but I have no memory of the event. We returned to Australia and started our practice in Sawtell and had our other two children, David and Amy. Three years ago, I moved the practice to Coffs Harbour.
What’s your specialty?
Such a long honorable career; what inspires you to keep helping people?
The sincere thanks I get from what I do. I became the doctor for the Sawtell Panthers Football club after being asked by John Wotherspoon. This has been a most rewarding position, especially when I was there to see them win the premiership in 2010!
Considering all the advances that have been made in medicine, is there anything you feel medical science/modern physicians could be doing better?
I think that, as doctors, we need to encourage patients to take a more active participation in their treatment. I am guilty of being too paternalistic in dealing with problems.
And on being married to the Mayor, Cr. Denise Knight. That’s exciting – you must be very proud of her?
Extremely proud. She gives so much to the community and continues to do so. She has worked very hard to become Mayor. She works ten to twelve hours per day at the moment. Yes, I’m very proud of her!
Denise’s background is in nursing … did you meet on the job?
Yes, I was a Resident at Western Suburbs Hospital, and we met over a patient with a knife sticking out of his chest. He got better, and I got Denise!
Talk about ‘The Power Couple’ – have the dynamics changed at home?
Very much so; I have had to take on more of the household duties. I tend to be fairly messy, so I have had to change my ways. My cooking skills have improved in leaps and bounds, and I made a rather nice meatloaf the week before last.
How do you find the public is responding to you personally since she was elected Mayor? Do you find people stopping you to talk politics?
Fortunately not. The main question I get is: “What do I call you now?” and “have things changed?”. I have not had anyone come up to me with pot hole problems yet.
Personally and professionally, what are you looking forward to in 2013?
I have my work, which I find very rewarding, and I look forward to supporting Denise in her challenging job in any way I can.