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University of Otago Clinical Prof Geoffrey Horne is still relishing the challenges of life as an orthopaedic surgeon nearly 40 years after he first entered the specialty.
Prof Horne (65) has an MB ChB from the University of Otago, undertaking most of his initial medical study in Dunedin.
The final year of his Otago University studies was spent in Wellington, the city of his birth.
For more than 20 years, he has also been a professor of surgery and, more recently, clinical professor at the university's Wellington School of Medi-cine.
He feels honoured to receive the ONZM, for services to medicine.
He has a special interest in hip and knee joint replacement, remains actively involved in research and has never wanted to do anything other than orthopaedic surgery.
"I really like the job.
"It's a constantly challenging job that I continue to enjoy in all its aspects.
"One has to work very hard to ensure that the patient has the best possible experience.
"They don't all want an operation. They want to feel better about what afflicts them."
Prof Horne headed the department of surgery at the Wellington school for about eight years, ending about 2000, a rare achievement given that general surgeons usually hold such New Zealand university posts.
Under his leadership, the Wellington department has built a strong academic record.
As president of the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association (2003-04), he worked to secure extra funding for the Orthopaedic Joint Replacement Initiative, which has increased hip and knee replacement in hospitals by 95%.
For more than 20 years he had convened an annual meeting in Wellington on arthroplasty.
This is surgery to relieve pain and restore range of motion by realigning or reconstructing a joint.
He was an editorial board member of Injury, and the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, both international journals.
He has also established, and chairs, the Wellington Surgical Research Trust.