herman van rooyenDr Herman van Rooyen has recently joined the KeNako team of professionals.  Herman is a medical doctor and is amongst other things very involved in the development of the KeNako Executive program offering.  Herman now has a consulting room at the KeNako Suites.  He has enjoyed an fascinating career and we thought that we would focus on some interesting aspects relating to Herman’s career to date.


After graduating at the University of the Orange Free State with his MBChB in 1986, Herman worked in private practice in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal for 17 years where he managed a general practice.  It was during this time that Dr van Rooyen developed a keen interest in Sports Injuries and Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment of Sports Injuries, as well as Neuro-Rehabilitation.


In the mid 1990’s Herman and his six practising partners in Pietermaritzburg decided to engage in something of an entrepreneurial project by opening a satellite medical practice in New Zealand.  It was their wish to gain some international experience whilst simultaneously generating a different revenue stream.  Herman agreed to take the first stint in New Zealand, which included setting up the new practice and moved to Palmerston North together with his family in 1997.  After two months in New Zealand that country decided to change its medical registration procedure and this resulted in a change of plan for the seven Pietermaritzburg doctors, resulting in Herman embarking on an extended sojourn in New Zealand.


He believes that his time in New Zealand was a life changing experience and it opened his eyes to aspects of and relating to medicine that he would probably otherwise not have considered.  Herman worked with a Sports Physiotherapist linked to Manawatu rugby and this practice would in later years become the All Black Rugby Academy at Massey University in Palmerston North.  Herman met and worked together with Joe Borland, then President of the American Sports Medicine Association, and learnt a great deal from Joe.  Herman qualified as a Sports Injury Therapist with the American Medical Association.  Herman believes that New Zealand opened his mind to other modalities of medicine and health.  In South Africa medicine tends to be very traditional with something of an Alpha Omega concept and characteristic.  In New Zealand it was totally acceptable for a doctor to refer a patient to a Chiropractor or to a Reflexologist etc, whereas in South Africa this seldom happens.  Herman realized that, as in other careers and forms of life, one has to consider all of the options – to take the best out of everything – to the benefit of the patient.  He relates the importance of Chinese medicine that has a tradition of more than 2000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy and dietary therapy.  These practices form a common part of medical care throughout China and East Asia, but are considered alternative medicine in the western world.  The fact that they continue to survive and flourish suggest that these forms of treatment must have benefits and they must work.


For the past few years Herman has been the Senior Physician with Carnival UK managing medical centres on cruise ships for Princess, Cunard, P&O UK and P&O Australia.  He says that one of his interesting learnings during this time is how the different people and cultures of the world have different attitudes to and expectations from medicine.


Herman adds a new dimension to the KeNako Academy team of professionals.