1919 - 2013

MB CHB (NZ) 1941, MRACP 1948, MRCP (LOND) 1949, FRACP 1958, FRCP (LOND) 1968


Ponty was House Surgeon, Wellington Hospital in 1941, and then Assistant Pathologist 1942-44.  There followed WW2 service with NZMC 1944-46 after which he returned to Wellington Hospital.   He was Medical Registrar in 1947 and Senior Medical Registrar in 1948.

In 1949, Ponty went to Hammersmith Hospital in London, where he was House Physician to Professor John McMichael.  The following year he was RMO at the National Heart Hospital, during which time he earned the respect of his seniors who held up his performance as a model for subsequent RMOs.  In 1951 he was Chief Assistant, Professorial Medical Unit at St Bartholomew's Hospital, where he helped in the establishment of the cardiac unit and learned some cardiac catheter skills.

On return to Wellington Hospital in 1952, Ponty was appointed Assistant Physician and Medical Tutor, and the following year he was Visiting Physician.  Ponty established the Hypertension Clinic in 1955, at a time when hexamethonium drugs were the latest advance in treatment.  In 1958 he became Visiting Physician, Cardiology and Hypertension Departments.   He was Head of Cardiology and Hypertension from 1960 - 1979.

Ponty was involved with some of the earliest cardiac catheterisations.  His first investigation was catheter #6 on 25/3/52.   He was the first to introduce bicycle exercise as part of the procedure.  With Dr Alistair Wilson, he performed the first venous angiogram (9/6/53), the first selective RA angiogram (4/11/58) and the first selective RV angiogram (23/6/59).  Ponty's last study was undertaken in 1964.

His most notable achievement was the development of the Hypertension Clinic, the introduction of basal blood pressure recordings, the full-day BP series, and the half-day test.  Ponty undertook some of the early studies using ACE-inhibitor drugs.

Last updated 8 October 2021.