New Zealand's newest Boxing Doctor Bryan Chong
Over the years in New Zealand, we have had the best fight doctors in New Zealand including the power couple Dr David Renata and Dr Shareen Jacobs, the Young doctor from the North Shore Dr Sam Rawlings, Christchurch own Dr Andrew Bell and The Waikato Doctor Dr Jason Keung. Now we have a new doctor in the house of Boxing and his name is Dr Bryan Chong.
The 29-year-old doctor grew up in Wellington but was born in Singapore. He moved to Auckland to complete his medical studies. Now Auckland is his home, but he has a soft spot for Wellington.
Bryan became a doctor to pursue an exciting and versatile career, However, he also wanted to make a positive impact on Health. “The potential roles of a doctor extend far beyond what we see in our favourite medical dramas on TV. Creativity is key and a significant driver for me to pursue this career path was the plethora of unique ways we could improve the health and wellbeing of our communities, which extend far beyond the confines of our hospitals and GP clinics.”
The early stages of his medical studies piqued his curiosity, which led to him joining the Army Reserve Combat Medic. “In addition to being a great motivation to stay fit and active, it has afforded me many fun and unique experiences both within and outside the scope of medicine” Today he is still part of the NZDF, but, now he is part of the Air Force to pursue more experience in the field of Aviation Medicine.
Bryan has a big passion for Combat sports (not necessarily boxing). As a fan and a supporter, he jumped at the opportunity to become a ringside doctor when it was offered to him by Dr Brittany Stanley-Wishart. “Through maintaining their health and wellbeing, I have been given the privilege of being (even a small) part of the journey each athlete goes through regardless of the level of sport in which they partake in. I have also been given the opportunity to contribute towards the safety and integrity of what can be a dangerous sport, which is a significant driver for me. As for jumping in the ring myself, not too keen to do so without the protection of my stethoscope....” His favourite boxing moment of all time was Round 1 of Hagler versus Hearns on April 15, 1985, at Caesars.
As a doctor, he wants to contribute to New Zealand boxing as much as he can. Of course, his job is to protect the boxers from serious injury. However, he would like to see a greater focus on the health and protection of our athletes both in head injury management and their overall health and well-being. “New Zealand has such a rich and proud culture and history of sports. We take immense pride in our representation of high-performance sport on a global stage. Despite this, I still believe there are some deficits in the way we look after the health and wellbeing of our athletes, especially with regards to their overall longevity and life after sport.”
When asked What is his Goal with his work in NZ boxing? He stated “My priority would first and foremost always be the health and safety of the people involved in the sport. A major goal of mine would be to minimise the risk and maintain the health of our athletes. If through my involvement with NZ Boxing, I am able to make positive changes in the way we practice and look after our fighters, it would be something I could be proud of. I would also love to learn more about the sport and the passionate people involved in it.”
If you see Dr Bryan Chong around, you will likely see his assistant Chris Baird with him. Chris Baird has been friends since living in Wellington. Chris is a Health Science graduate and a senior physiotherapy student. He brings a solid background in sports and exercise health and enjoys gaining further experience and exposure through involvement with various sporting codes such as boxing and rugby and football.
“The general standard around the world is to have a minimum of 2, usually 3 health professionals (usually doctors) present at each event for pre-bout medicals at the weigh-in, as well as the event. We unfortunately currently do not have that luxury here. Having an assistant like Chris is essential in order to have a safe and effective medical presence at these events.” Bryan said.
New Zealand Boxing and the whole combat sports community here in New Zealand is extremely lucky to have young and talented medical professionals like Dr Bryan Chong and Chris Baird looking after our fighters. If you ever see any of these two at a Combat event, make sure you say thank you to them for protecting our Combat Fighters.