04 December 2012
The New Zealand Medical Association will today bestow its highest honour, the Chair's Award, on a doctor who is a true all-round achiever.
Auckland GP Dr Sharad Paul has been described as a Renaissance man. This year alone, as well as juggling three medical roles, he was also a finalist for the New Zealander of the Year award and his second novel was published.
The Award is presented annually, at the discretion of the NZMA Chair, to an individual or organisation which has made a substantial contribution to the health of New Zealanders.
NZMA Chair Dr Paul Ockelford said today's award to Dr Sharad Paul was well deserved.
"His achievements are remarkable and remarkably varied. In addition to his medical roles, his Skin Surgery Clinic offers free skin cancer checks. He also invented a new skin graft technique, and he funds literacy programmes in low decile Auckland schools."
"It's no wonder he was nominated for New Zealander of the Year and reached the finals."
Dr Paul's major clinical interests are sun damage, skin repair, wound healing, management of skin cancers and facial reconstruction following removal of skin cancers.
As well as being director of the Skin Surgery Clinic and Glenavon Doctor's Surgery in Blockhouse Bay, he holds the positions of honorary Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Auckland and Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland School of Medicine.
In 2007 he invented the first new skin graft technique that reduces costs, pain and healing time for patients, and he has presented this new technique at international conferences.
Outside of medicine Dr Paul runs an award winning café and bookstore called the Baci Lounge, in Newmarket. Proceeds are used to fund literacy programmes in low decile Auckland schools, with the aim of helping children to "dream with their eyes wide open." He has also served on the National Commission of UNESCO.
Dr Paul has been described in the media as "one of the most inspiring, intelligent and compassionate men you are likely to meet". TIME magazine, in 2008, called him "Open Heart Surgeon".
Dr Paul did his medical training in Madras, India, and came to New Zealand in 1991. He completed three years of general surgery and two years of plastic surgical training, including work at Hutt and Middlemore Hospitals as well as overseas. He became a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners in 1999, and gained a Master of Philosophy in Medical Law and Ethics from the University of Glasgow in 2002. He is also a Fellow of the Skin Cancer College of Australasia.
He is also the published author of two literary fiction novels, Cool Cut (Picador 2007) and To Kill a Snow Dragonfly (4th Estate, Harper Collins 2012). He has completed a non-fiction book on skin to be released internationally in late 2012 by Collins.