My main interests are otology and neurotology. It was already clear to me when I was training to become an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon that I wanted to become an otologist and neurotologist. I have done many international courses and worked overseas. I had the opportunity to learn from the best in the world. I can really elaborate on this at length. Yet I still feel that I have learned the most at home. I was privileged to train under Prof Johannes Swart who was the father of cochlear implantation (CI) in Pretoria. Prof Swart understood ear disease, and the psychology thereof.
After qualifying as an ENT specialist I worked at 1 Military Hospital. I went through the ranks eventually becoming the Chief ENT Specialist in ENT at 1 Military Hospital and the Chief ENT Surgeon of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF). During my early years at 1 Military Hospital I worked under a fantastic mentor and ENT surgeon, the Head of ENT, Dr Jacob Pietrzak. Jacob allowed me to develop and supported my interests all the way. I miss our tennis games.
During my time at 1 Military Hospital I also worked with Dr Fritz van der Laan, ENT specialist at the Institute of Aviation Medicine (IAM) where he taught me nystagmography. Dr Fritz van der Laan had a PhD from Amsterdam, just like Prof Herman Hamersma. He was an open-minded openhearted man.
Dr Marcel Groenewald, what a lady, took me under her wing and taught me a lot of basic ethics in medicine, research principles and allergy. She was the allergologist at the hospital. At the time we were performing the most skin prick testing and desensitization for allergy in South Africa. In 5 years we participated in more than 10 international based contract research projects. She successfully diagnosed and treated my daughter Rita for her dairy allergy.
My most important training during all this time was from Prof Herman Hamersma. I visited him for years on a weekly basis during my early years. As an otologist and neurotologist, previous Professor and Head of the Department of ENT, University of Pretoria and PhD from Amsterdam he taught me so many things! In my first year we did 36 stapedotomies together. I still learn from him now. He is like a father to me!
After qualifying as an ENT surgeon and during my time at 1 Military Hospital, I visited Prof Andre Claassen, Professor and Head of ENT at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein to learn acoustic neuroma surgery. This man is a master, a surgeon of note. With Dr Herman Hamersma they taught me middle fossa surgery. I still owe him a lot of gratitude. We did the first Advance Bionics Cochlear Implant(CI) in South Africa at 1 Military Hospital and in Windhoek, Namibia.
After having the privilege to have trained and learned from the best I established myself as an otologist and neurotologist. I have a great responsibility to follow in their footsteps. I will never forget them. I specialize and have a specific interest in the following conditions: