David Alexander ABERNETHY

MB ChB (Otago) 1979, FRACP 1990

David was born in Whakatane in 1955, educated at Edgecumbe Primary to age 10 then King's School and King's College.

He trained in medicine at Otago transferring to Wellington for his 6th year. He was a house surgeon in Wellington region hospitals 1981 - 2 and medical registrar then neurology trainee 1983 - 7.  

He did research into peripheral nerve regeneration with Prof PK Thomas at the Royal Free Hospital 1987- 91 and also a weekly clinic with Ian McDonald at Moorfields Eye Hospital.  

He was senior lecturer at the University of Otago 1991 to 2015 with a joint appointment as consultant neurologist at Capital and Coast Health.  He was clinical leader of neurology from 2008 to 2016.  

His interests included muscle and nerve disease, undergraduate neurology teaching, and health informatics.  He was closely involved in the introduction of an electronic health record in Wellington Hospital and a prime mover in the development of the Otago University health informatics diploma programme. He was a long time and active member of the OU faculty curriculum committee. In his time as clinical leader of the neurology service he lead a signficant reorganisation to enable development of an effective inpatient stroke and neurology service and a much greater role for neurology in care of acutely ill patients with neurolgical disorders.  As a result neurology became much more popular with medical trainees and the number of RMOs and advanced trainees gradually expanded. He reitred on Oct 30 2020.  

He is married to Robyn Kelly, public health nurse leader.  They have two sons and two grandchildren.  His hobbies and interests include medical history, literature including sci-fi and children's books, computer programming, maths, science and technology, scuba diving, house repairs and tinkering.

photo courtesy David Abernethy
Last updated 8 November 2021.