Dr Fergus Aitcheson
After 20 years in the hospital system he joined Three Rivers Medical Centre's predecessor Kaiti Medical Centre in 2007 and became a partner in the team that developed Three Rivers Medical concept.
A focus on happy staff is one factor in their ultimate goal of making a measureable improvement to the health of people in the Tairawhiti District, says Fergus. "Three Rivers Medical’s scale gives staff the ability to foster their interests outside general practice. We pride ourselves on our flexibility and our doctors have other interests, whether in things like palliative care, sport or other businesses outside medicine. This keeps them fresher, and it creates a really cool supportive environment to work in.”
Fergus’ interest in the health of this region has arisen through deep family connection to it. “Gisborne’s my turangawaewae. My grandfather came here in the 1880’s and was active in politics, and my grandfather farmed at Tahanga before joining the East Coast-Wellington Mounted Rifles in Gallipoli. My mother’s first teaching position was at Kaiti School.”
As a graduate Fergus accepted an intern position at Gisborne Hospital in 1986 and after two years “left with wife and child”. “I like the climate, and I like the vibe of the town – it’s tolerant. I also love the physical environment – the sunsets, the seasonal changes, the beaches, the fact you can get anywhere in ten minutes. I can walk onto one of New Zealand’s top golf courses without waiting, and catch a feed of fish in ten minutes.”