New roles in management for the older workforce - Dr Ian Brown
Since he stepped away from clinical practice into semi-retirement, internationally recognised obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Ian Brown has developed many more strings to his bow in clinical management.
Dr Brown’s first job was as a house surgeon in Durban, following completion of his medical degree in the United Kingdom in 1967. He met his Zimbabwean wife, Penny, there and the couple moved to Harare, where he worked at the Harare Maternity Hospital, first as a registrar and then a consultant. He was eventually appointed head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department. He was then elected to the chair as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecolgy and later became the Dean of the Godfrey Huggins School of Medicine based at the University of Zimbabwe.
In 1985, Dr Brown moved from the medical school to spend time in private practice in Harare intermittently working short spells in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Medical practice was becoming more and more difficult in Zimbabwe and when Ian saw the position of Clinical Director at Middlemore Hospital advertised in 1997 he applied and was appointed – starting a new life and career in New Zealand. In 2001 Dr Brown was appointed Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Counties Manakau District Health Board. In 2005 he went to Northland DHB as CMO for two and a half years and was for part of that time chair of the New Zealand CMO group.
At this point Ian decided to cut down on his workload and spend more time doing other things.
“I was fortunate to have made plenty of links with people during my time at Counties and Northland so various opportunities to get involved in Medical Administration across the country arose.”
Ian’s first role was an appointment as the Crown Monitor at the Capital and Coast District Health Board to assist with clinical governance. At about the same time he worked at the Hawkes Bay District Health Board as Deputy Commissioner.
“Since retiring from full time work I have also worked with most of the DHBs in New Zealand providing advice on clinical governance and assisting with reviews,” he says.
More recently Ian has been working for the New Zealand Medical Council in a half time capacity as one of two clinical advisors. In moving from clinical practice to management roles Dr Brown says he has valued his association with the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators. He says it has become an increasingly important body in recent years, with many Colleges and CMOs now linked or affiliated to it.
“I am now essentially working half time or trying to make it so. Although I will stop working in a formal capacity this year, I would still like to teach or mentor in a voluntary capacity in some way. I think there is something to be said for using the accumulated knowledge of experienced doctors to assist those just starting out. One realises that there are different ways of working in any specialty, whether this is half time or part time. Medicine has huge opportunities in many different areas, so don’t be afraid to try new things.”