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Three prospective professors of neurosurgery will be interviewed next month for the Chair in Neurosurgery at the University of Otago.
Otago University health sciences pro-vice-chancellor Prof Peter Crampton said the three male candidates would be flown to Dunedin from Europe, at the university's expense.
Prof Crampton was pleasantly surprised by the high calibre of applicants on the short-list, as well as on the long-list of 13, all of whom were from overseas.
The professor would work half-time at Dunedin Hospital, ensuring three neurosurgeons for the Dunedin node of the South Island neurosurgical service.
All three candidates were accomplished researchers well established in their careers.
They were also "generalist" neurosurgeons, which was preferable to being highly specialised, because the successful candidate needed to cope with "whatever comes through the door" in terms of surgery.
Once appointed, it would probably take several months for the professor to arrive, due to work and family commitments.
A decision on the appointment would be made jointly by the South Island neurosurgical governance board, the university and the Southern District Health Board.