Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

Well it was just another work day, but after dinner we all went to the Square for the Palmerston North celebration. It felt more like the 4th of July celebrations back home--families, picnics on the ground, local bands playing, rides and games for the kids, food booths... Left early, back home and will hopefully be sleeping at midnight or shortly thereafter (still on call).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Other Pics

Yes wind farms, black swans, Joe and Kathleen Martin at dinner on Lake Taupo, sheep, and rapids---all New Zealand!

Lake Taupo Region

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas In New Zealand

Well you must realize first it is Summer here and the kids are now off for Summer vacation (about two months). It is not just Christmas Break. And since it is the longest days of the year, there is not a lot of Christmas lights(very very few). As a matter of fact not a lot of any Christmas decorations. They are not selling fresh cut pine trees on every corner. And Christmas dinner is steaks, chicken, burgers, lamb etc on the "barbie" grill. Or it is a picnic in the park. It is games outside with the family. Everything is closed so it really is a quiet peaceful family day. Attached are pictures--the decorated Palm tree, Owen's Christmas morning, and my gift to myself so I can have good coffee.


It has been over a month since I updated anything. A lot has happened. First I had to return to the US for the first two weeks of December. The business aspect of the visit was not pleasant but it did allow me to visit with my sons for an early Christmas. The weather was something else!! I left sunny and 70 to find snow and 17. I am getting used to the international flying and airports. LA airport doesn't seem so bad anymore. And the Delta Crown Room for layovers is great. I will attach some pictures I took while home. And the next post will be Christmas in New Zealand.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

These cows do not realize what beautiful scenery they share each day!

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Dawson Water Falls on Taranaki

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Obstetrics and Gynecology in New Zealand

Well I suppose I should talk about work. Obstetrics in New Zealand is completely different than in the US. New Zealand has a Nurse Midwife based system. A pregnant patient is followed through out her pregnancy by the Nurse Midwife. This includes all prenatal care,even home visits. She can labor and deliver at home, or in the hospital. She will be followed throughtout her labor by the midwife. The patient "goes natural" most of the time. Analgesia is occasionally used which includes pethidine(somewhat like stadol) or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and on occasion fentenyl(don't use those in the US for labor!). The nurse must consult the Consultant Doctor for fentenyl or an epidural. They have a very low rate of epidurals.
Continous electronic fetal monitoring is not used unless there are complication. Just intermittent auscultation. I do not think they have intrauterine pressure catheters(I have yet to see one). They do have internal fetal monitoring but only when there is a problem. Patients do not always get IVs and IV fluids. But any complications get a hep lock. They continue to eat, drink, and ambulate especially in early labor.
Induction of labor happens at 42 weeks or when medically indicated complications occur. In these cases the Consultant OB becomes involved.
We have OB Registars (Residents) who cover L&D. There are six registars at the present at Palmerston North. Throughout New Zealand there is only one O&G Residency Program. The residents rotate through the main teritary and secondary care hospitals throughout New Zealand (Auchland, Wellington, Hastings, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Nelson, Dunedin, Christchurch...) for their experience. No real academic structure like in the US. But the residency program is actually six years instead of the four year programs in the US. The residents have to set exams both written and oral to be able to complete the program. The program is governed by the New Zealand Medical Council and the New Zealand/Australian College of Obstetrics and Gynecology of which they will become Fellows.

Pictures from Taranaki

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Plymouth Weekend

Left Palmerston on Friday afternoon about 3:00 for a wonderful drive up to New Plymouth, a town billed as the best place to live in New Zealand. I stopped along the way in a small town Patea to see the quaint church and the coastal beach with overlook. The cliffs remind me of the Cliffs of Mohr in Ireland. Mount Taranaki is just breathtaking---majestically rising to the heavens. It is still snow capped and beautiful.

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