About the Author

Dr Philip Pattemore is an Associate Professor of Paediatrics with the University of Otago, based at the central hospital in Christchurch New Zealand.

He was raised in Maharashtra, Western India where his parents were involved with the Poona and Indian Village Mission. He attended boarding school at Lushington Boys’ School, South India, from age 7, where his intelligence, round NHS spectacles, and occasional forgetfulness garnered him the nickname “the absent minded professor”, later shortened to “Prof”. The ‘Associate’ is a later acquisition.

Philip’s family moved to New Zealand when he was 13 and he attended high school in Wellington and Auckland. He then entered medical school at the University of Auckland with the vague idea of becoming a brain surgeon, but after qualifying, his interests led him into training as a paediatric hospital specialist. After obtaining his fellowship in Paediatrics he then undertook doctoral research in Auckland followed by two years spent in respiratory research in Southampton, England before being appointed to the Christchurch School of Medicine. His research interests are asthma and cystic fibrosis in children, and he is involved in advocating for smoke-free government policies to protect children from the damaging effects of tobacco smoke. Philip is currently Chair of the Board of the Christian Medical Fellowship of NZ.

It was at boarding school in India where Philip first learnt piano. Despite the handicap of being singled out by his piano teacher as being the only one of her students who didn’t have “good hands”, he nevertheless went on to gain his ATCL (Performer’s) diploma. His favourite composer is Beethoven. In medical circles he is known for playing (and singing) medically-themed Muppet parody songs, such as “The Asthma Connection”, and “The Modern Paediatric Pulmonologist” at medical workshops in Australia and New Zealand. Philip plays the piano on a regular basis at his church in Christchurch. He also loves cycling and can often be seen on his bicycle, taking the family border collie for a run.

Philip lives with his wife, Wendy, who is also a doctor – now specialising in palliative care after 25 years in general practice. Their elder son, Matthew is undertaking a Master’s Degree in International Law, and their younger son, Michael is studying Biology.