Pioneers in the development of neurological surgery in Auckland, New Zealand: Robertson, Wrightson, and Mackenzie
OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the development of neurosurgery in Auckland, New Zealand, which has diverse roots and was influenced by geographical, socioeconomic, and international forces. METHODS: Historical records were examined, and interviews were conducted to determine the factors that shaped the development of neurological surgery in Auckland, New Zealand. RESULTS: Sir Carrick Robertson, a Scotsman, was one of the more enterprising general surgeons in Auckland. As early as the 1920s, he performed and published the results of several neurosurgical procedures. Later, Donald Mackenzie, another Auckland general surgeon, went abroad to gain neurosurgical experience from his North American and British colleagues. He returned and founded the Auckland Neurosurgical Department in 1945. David Robertson and Phillip Wrightson later joined the department, and they were instrumental in conducting early research on shunt systems, head injury, and pituitary tumors. The neurosurgical department Mackenzie founded went on to become the largest in New Zealand and presently serves metropolitan Auckland as well as both rural areas of New Zealand's North Island and many smaller Pacific island nations. CONCLUSION: Neurological surgery in Auckland was influenced largely by Great Britain, Australia, and North America, as well as by geographical and socioeconomic factors unique to the South Pacific. The achievements of these earlier pioneers in neurosurgery highlight their tremendous abilities and sheer determination to succeed.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Sheehan, Jason P.; Sheehan, Jonas M.; Ellegala, Dilantha B.; and Furneaux, Christopher, "Pioneers in the development of neurological surgery in Auckland, New Zealand: Robertson, Wrightson, and Mackenzie" (2005). Neurosurgery. 1532.