Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Flying Doctor - Dave Baldwin

For the first time, Dave Baldwin, known throughout the backcountry as The Flying Doctor, shares his tales from life lived at full-throttle.

From his early years struggling with dyslexia, to graduating from med school, learning to fly and joining the New Zealand Air Force, eventually working in cardiology at Palmerston North Hospital and setting up a general practice in Bulls, Dave’s early life was certainly a life less ordinary.

Dr Dave is no stranger to hard work. He believes that if you work hard doors will open, and he throws himself into everything he does. As well as his general practice, he started the ‘Not-So-Royal Bulls Flying Doctor Service’ for the rural aviation community based at remote airstrips and farms in the backcountry. The Not-So-Royal Bulls Flying Doctor Service performs medicals on pilots around the country to make sure they are fit for flying.

Dr Dave flies all over our beautiful country to provide this service, and while he is at it he combines his two biggest loves (other than wife Sandi and his children) high-country flying and hunting.
Dr Dave calls it like it is. Well-known for his eccentric personality, playful antics and colourful turn of phrase, Dave’s story is highly entertaining and truly unique. Yet it’s not without tragedy Dave lost his best mate and son Marc in a terrible incident where Marc took his own life in the same place they’d shared so many cherished father-son moments.

Dave has always been on a mission to help men’s health. With his Healthy Bastards book released in 2009, he worked hard to try to spread the message to get men to look after themselves and attend regular check-ups. Now after his son’s death he is even more passionate about the Healthy Bastards campaign and is focused on getting men to speak out, seek help and look after their health.
Ministry of Health statistics show that men are at much higher risk of suicide than women. Every year approximately 500 people in New Zealand take their own lives, with many more attempting suicide or experiencing levels of distress that places them at high risk of suicide. In 2011/2012 the recorded suicide rate was 549, with 404 of those men. And that rate is on the rise, with 569 suicides in 2014/2015.

Dr Dave has redefined what it is to be a Healthy Bastard —  it’s not just focusing physical health but also mental and spiritual health.
Full of hunting, hiking, flying and good yarns, this is a celebration of life and loss and what it takes to be a good Kiwi bloke.

A great read for anyone who has loved New Zealand’s wilderness and its wild people, Dave’s writing style has a humorous turn reminiscent of that good keen man of New Zealand humour, Barry Crump. 
Dr Dave is presently focusing his Healthy Bastards campaign on social media (Facebook and YouTube) as a way of getting good health messages to ‘unhealthy bastards’. Not long ago he won a landmark Advertising Standards Authority complaint (along with an appeal) relating to his Healthy Bastards radio advertisements, which has further fuelled his enthusiasm to keep the campaign going.
Dave is also the co-founder of the Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs, that attracts what he calls the real oil of New Zealand, a precision landing, short take-off and landing competition held annually at Omaka Airfield in Blenheim.

Random House NZ - $40.00

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